Women’s Volleyball Keeps Winning Streak Alive With Victory Over GW

Women’s volleyball swept the Revolutionaries in their first game back home following three road sweeps.

The Loyola women’s volleyball team, now 6-11, swept the George Washington University Revolutionaries in their first game back home following three road sweeps against Davidson College Sept. 29-30 and Saint Louis University Oct. 8. 

The match opened in favor of Loyola with an opening kill from graduate middle blocker Taylor Venuto and an ace by third-year setter Bree Borum. An attack error from the Revolutionaries gave Loyola an initial 3-1 lead. 

Following the opening play, George Washington went on a 3-0 scoring run to tie the match at five after gaining the serve on a Ramblers service error, scoring two more in succession via an ace and a kill. 

Play continued in point-for-point fashion until Loyola seized a four-point edge at 18, grabbing three kills through Borum, fourth-year right-side hitter Emily Banitt and graduate outside hitter Addie Barnes. This sent the Revolutionaries into a timeout down 18-14.

Shortly after the timeout, Loyola found a set-point opportunity. Barnes registered an ace in the last exchange, bringing Loyola up to 22 points. A Loyola error gave George Washington possession on their second serve as they put up a kill and block to levy the score 22-20. Two more service errors from the Revolutionaries’ side gave the Ramblers set point 24-22. Bannit put it away with a kill, giving Loyola the opening set.

Set two was a stalemate with nine lead changes, and neither team broke it open until the set’s final points. The Ramblers caught steam via an ace from Borum following an attack error from the Revolutionaries. Bannit and McNabb each registered a kill to give Loyola a set point. Borum solidified the win with an ace in the final point.

Venuto pointed to the job of Borum running the offense as smoothly as possible.

“It helps when our setter can run the whole court instead of just favoring one position,” Venuto said. “[Borum did] a really good job at varying her offense. It was huge for us to take into the third.”

The Ramblers dominated the service line with 12 aces to the Revolutionaries’ three. Borum led the way with five in the match. 

Set three opened favoring the Revolutionaries, who led three to one in the opening exchange, as they scored two quick kills and forced a Loyola attack error. Loyola brought momentum back into their hands with a quick turnaround punctuated by a pair of kills from Barnes and Bannit.

Back-to-back aces by third-year right-side hitter Esma Anjanovic followed the kills, giving Loyola an 8-5 lead. After kills by McNabb and Borum and an ace from Barnes, the Ramblers kept pushing forward. They won the serve off a service mistake from the George Washington side at 11 points. The Revolutionaries took a timeout down 14-8. 

Loyola remained in a groove late in the set, ahead 22-15. The final exchange was all Borum, with consecutive kills to grab the last two points, ending the match 25-17 as George Washington fell in Loyola’s first home shutout victory this season. 

Head coach Amand Berkeley noted the recent turnaround performance for her team involves a lesson from their preseason and a push of overachieving work.

“We took our preseason to heart,” Berkeley said. “They were hard teams, but they use that to learn from it. We have been busting our butts in the gym every day, and I think the main difference is that every day we come in saying, like, ‘We want to win.'”

Loyola hits the road Oct. 20 and 21 for an A-10 doubleheader against Virginia Commonwealth University at 5 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday. Broadcast information is yet to be announced.

Featured image by Aidan Cahill | The Phoenix

Christopher J. Henry

Christopher J. Henry

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