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Jamie Armstrong

Senior outside hitter Rachael Goss makes a play during Friday's match against Fordham. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Photographer

Senior outside hitter Rachael Goss makes a play during Friday’s match against Fordham. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by contributing sports editor Sean Hurd

The Colonials made it look easy Friday afternoon by beating a struggling Fordham team in straight sets (25-12, 25-22, 25-13).

Friday’s victory marks the fourth straight win for a Colonials team that has now won nine of its last 10 and sits tied for second with Duquesne in the Atlantic 10 standings.

GW quickly took control the match and was able to dictate the pace of the game comfortably against a Fordham team who entering the game had lost 11 of their last 17.

The Colonials hit .318 on the afternoon, capped by a .423 attack percentage in the third and final set.

The Colonials were met with a little adversity in the second set when head coach Amanda Ault decided to switch her lineup on the floor, which caused the energy to drop on the GW side of the ball and gave an opportunity for the Rams to creep back into contention opening up a lead as large as four.

GW was able to regain it’s composure and rally back from the four-point deficit by taking 10 of the next 13 points. The Colonials would eventually take the set by three.

“I switched some things and I think it took more of an effect on us than I think it should have,” Ault said. “I like the fact that they figured out a way to pull it out.”

GW was led by freshman middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu on the attacking front who posted 10 kills without a single error. Osuchukwu finished the game hitting .769.

Junior middle blocker Gabrial Rushton led all players with five block assists and a solo block while sophomore libero Maddy Doyle led all players with 13 assists.

“I think it was just really important to take care of business at home,” said senior middle blocker Jamie Armstrong. Armstrong would finish the match with four kills, three digs and three block assists.

Despite the comfortable victory, Friday’s match was an important one for the Colonials, who will host URI Sunday in their last match at the Smith Center before the A-10 Championships. In their last meeting on Oct. 6, the Colonials squeaked out a five-set victory that would eventually propel them to a five-game win streak, their longest streak of the season.

“They’re a good team, they are definitely somebody that we need to come in focused and stay on top of our game,” Ault said “I think we are playing pretty well right now. There are some things we need to tighten up and take care of especially from today, but I think that they also see that this is their last match at the Smith Center before the A-10 tournament.”

The Colonials will take the floor Sunday afternoon against Rhode Island at 1 p.m.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Mark Eisenhauer.

Back at the Smith Center on Sunday for the first time in three weeks, this was a chance for GW to get back on a winning track.

But even against a struggling Towson team (6-13), the Colonials could not find a rhythm on the court, falling short in their final non-conference match, 3-1 (17-25, 20-25, 25-23, 26-28)

The first set started evenly as both teams traded big kills to earn their first points of the match. With the score at 10-12, Towson began to pull ahead after a service error by senior middle blocker Jamie Armstrong. Within minutes the Tigers (6-13) had opened up a 12-19 lead that the Colonials (5-9) would never recover from, dropping the set 17-25.

Freshman Setter Emily Clemens serves the ball inthe Colonials' loss against Georgetown earlier this season. Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

Freshman Setter Emily Clemens serves the ball inthe Colonials’ loss against Georgetown earlier this season. Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

“In volleyball if you make one little error you think about it for a long time and we just need to let that error go and move on because when we excel we are just unstoppable,” sophomore Maddy Doyle said.

Set two brought much of the same, as GW lost the first five points due to stellar plays by Towson junior Victoria Williams, inducing a timeout from head coach Amanda Ault. Outside hitters Landon Garvik and Maggie Skjelbred came out of the break refocused, tallying a few kills of their own to tie the score up at 14.

Despite GW’s best efforts, though, once again the team fell just short and dropped the second set 20-25, heading into the locker room facing a potential shutout.

Garvick, who Ault said gave a very well rounded performance, would finish the day with an impressive ten kills and six digs.

The Colonials came out fighting with newfound energy in the third set, as kills by Garvik, junior Kelsey Newman, and freshman Loren Williams propelled the team to a score of 18-14. Holding off a Towson rally, the Colonials held steady and narrowly won the set 25-23 on yet another kill by Newman, who ended the day with a team-leading 18 kills.

When asked what changed at halftime sophomore libero Maddy Doyle said, “It was really just an understanding that this is our home court and we need to protect it. What we were doing just wasn’t acceptable,” sophomore libero Maddy Doyle.

With the momentum on their side, GW continued to score in the fourth set, pulling ahead to an early 7-1 lead, their largest of the match. The intensity augmented on both sides as Towson fought back to make it 15-14, but not before the Towson bench received a rare yellow card for arguing with an official.

After the Colonials gained a 24-22 lead, thanks to more hard fought play by Newman, Doyle, and Armstrong, a fifth set looked likely. But after kills by Towson’s Williams and junior Saitaua Iosia, Towson dashed the Colonials comeback hopes by a score of 28-26.

“It’s clearly effort. Until we stop second guessing ourselves, until we stop looking for someone else to either play that ball or bail us out and start focusing on what we can do better individually to better the team, that’s where the problem lies,” Ault said.

GW opens conference play Friday, when they head to Richmond, Va. to take on VCU at 7 p.m.

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Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 12:41 p.m.

Women’s volleyball can’t keep up with Hoyas

by admin

Freshman Setter Emily Clemens serves the ball in a game against Georgetown on Thursday at McDonough Arena. The Colonials went on to lose to the Hoyas in three straight sets. Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Sean Hurd.

In a match that saw many lineup changes and moving pieces, the women’s volleyball team struggled to find a cohesive rhythm on the floor, dropping their match to crosstown foe Georgetown in straight sets (25-13, 25-21, 25-22) Wednesday.

GW didn’t get its normal offensive production from junior Kelsey Newman, who had just one kill over one set of playing time,and saw its defense falter, allowing GU to hit over .250 percent in every set.

The first set belonged entirely to the Hoyas. The Colonials fell behind early, as the Hoyas were able to push an early 12-2 lead thanks to the work of outside-hitter’s Lauren Saar and Alex Johnson, who had six and eight kills respectively.

Unlike many of their losing sets this season, the Colonials did not give the set away to GU (4-4) due to unforced errors. They were simply outplayed.

GW (3-4) struggled to find solid production on the pin, hitting just .026 for the set. Middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu, and outside-hitter Rachael Goss led GW with only three kills apiece. Sophomore libero Maddy Doyle led all players with 12 first set digs.

In the second set, the Colonials traded points with the Hoyas, and found themselves trailing GU by just a single point in the middle of the set, 16-15. But GW didn’t have an answer for the hitting duo of Saar and Johnson, who had another solid set for the Hoyas with five and seven kills respectively. Goss led the way for GW with four kills, but with only 10 second set kills as a team, the set went once again to GU. Freshman setter Emily Clemens started the second set of play in place of sophomore transfer Jordan Timmer, tallying eight assists and a service ace for the Colonials.

After the break, GW made one last run at the Hoyas, hoping to mount a comeback like they have done for the majority of their wins this season. GW got out to an early 5-2 lead, but that lead dwindled quickly as GU eventually tied the set up at 10-10. Finding themselves in a four-point hole, down 21-17, Clemens and freshman outside-hitter Loren Williams connected for two straight set and kills to bring the Colonials within two.

Osuchukwu followed with a kill of her own, making it a one point contest. But throughout the night, the Colonials missed the regular early-season production of Osuchukwu, who had just four kills in the non-conference contest.

The Hoyas stopped the threat and rallied for four of the next six points to take the set, and the match, in three straight sets.

Goss led the Colonials with 11 kills in the match, followed by Williams who totaled 10 kills of her own and seven digs. Clemens finished the match with 20 assists in two sets of action, and Doyle led the defense with 17 digs.

The Colonials will look to regain momentum at the Carolina Classic. GW faces No. 18 North Carolina on Friday evening at 7 p.m. before a doubleheader on Saturday against Albany (10:00 a.m.) and James Madison (5:30 p.m.).

Game Note: Senior middle blocker Jamie Armstrong saw action for the first time in six games, Wednesday, after not playing due to a concussion which she suffered during the Colonials season opener against UMD.

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Outside hitter Rachel Goss had 14 digs Saturday afternoon. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Sean Hurd.

Nothing came easy for the women’s volleyball team this weekend.

After finishing last weekend with a losing record of 1-2 at the GW Invitational, the Colonials entered the UCF Classic in Orlando, Fla. this weekend with hopes of picking up some momentum in what still is a very young volleyball season.

Despite a straight sets loss to Central Florida on Friday night, GW proved this weekend that playing as a cohesive unit will yield victories. The Colonials finished the tournament with a winning record of 2-1, with victories over Stephen F. Austin State (25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 21-25, 10-15) and Elon (25-16, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 11-15) giving them a 3-3 overall record for the season.

In both of those five-set victories, the Colonials found themselves trailing early on in the match.

After dropping the first two sets in the opening match against SFA (5-2), a fighting Colonials team crept back into contention, winning two straight sets to force a decisive fifth. The comeback was due in large part to the play of junior Kelsey Newman and freshman Chidima Osuchukwu. Newman tallied 24 kills and 10 digs, resulting in her third straight double-double. Osuchukwu slammed seven kills without a single error for the Colonials, to go along with her six blocks, three solo blocks.

Senior outside hitter Rachael Goss had 12 kills of her own for GW and sophomore Jordan Timmer had 45 assists, just three under her career high.

GW would eventually take the fifth set by a five-point spread.

In their match against UCF (6-1), the Colonials found themselves facing an old problem: unforced errors. The Colonials surrendered 18 attack errors, eight reception errors, and nine service errors to the Knight,s who capitalized on GW’s mistakes.

For head coach Amanda Ault, those unforced errors are a huge disrupter to one of the team’s most important keys: balance.

“That’s so important to us,” Ault said.  “We have to be balanced. We’re going to be so much more successful if we are balanced in our offense.”

The third and final game of the tournament for the Colonials against Elon University (2-5) illustrated the character of this GW team. After losing the first set in a convincing fashion, the Colonials found themselves in a similar situation: with their backs against the wall.

It was the third match in a row in which they started one set down.

And thus began their second comeback of the week, but likely not the way anyone could have pictured.

With Newman evidently struggling early on in the match, Ault tapped the shoulder of freshman outside hitter Loren Williams. Williams, who had only appeared in one of the previous five games for the Colonials, went from a vocal teammate on the bench to a force on the court. Williams had 13 kills, four digs and two solo blocks as the COlonials rallied their way back into the game. It was an effort that greatly impressed her head coach.

“She not only gave us great offense but she also had some big key plays defensively, blocking wise, and also back serving. It speaks well of her coming in, really taking the opportunity, stepping in and really doing things well,” Ault said.

Freshman setter Emily Clemens also played an instrumental role in the final sets. After Timmer had struggled to find a rhythm with her hitters, Ault made the change to place Clemens in the setter position for the first time this season.  Clemens responded, dishing 13 assists in the final two sets of the match, helping the Colonials to seal the match in the fifth and final set.

Sophomore libero Maddy Doyle had a strong showing with 20 digs and three service aces while Goss ran the stat sheet with a double-double 14 kills and 14 digs.

“Today was a total team effort for this win,” Ault said. “There were some key people who stepped off the bench and came in for us and really had big games. “

Ault continued to make personnel changes on the floor, starting a different group of six in-between sets without having a go-to core six on the floor.

Ault is still not troubled by the lack of a certain starting six, and is instead, looking to use what some may view as a problem, and turn it into a tactic against GW’s opponents.

“For this match in particular it goes back to the point of having depth on this team, having competitions within positions,” Ault said. “I think today was great example of that. Here is somebody who is struggling, if we need a different look in that position we have the personnel to step up and help us out.  “

While Ault is also impressed with the team’s ability to bounce back, she doesn’t necessarily want to have to stage a comeback for every win.

“They’ve shown us that they don’t give up, which is a great thing,” Ault said. “Now we just need to concentrate and focus on figuring out how to start the match off right. But I know that when their backs are against the wall, they’re performing and that’s good. We just need to take care of the beginning part of our play.”

GW will look to keep their momentum going when they face off against cross-town rival Georgetown on Wednesday.

Notes:

Senior Jessica Burr saw action for the first time since last season (injury). Jamie Armstrong didn’t make the trip to Florida because of injury sustained last week (concussion).

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Correction appended

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kimberly Shi.

volleyball, Kelsey newman, Temple University

Sophomore Kelsey Newman jumps to hit a ball at the women’s volleyball team’s Sunday game against Temple University in the Smith Center. Scott Figatner | Hatchet Photographer

After their win against La Salle on Friday, the Colonials were pumped up to clinch another victory. However, an easy win was not on the horizon.

Freshman Alexis Huntey stepped in at the setter position for the second game in a row. And with a freshman setter in, “everything had to be more basic,” head coach Amanda Ault said, requiring the entire team to come together to maintain possession and the Colonials’ hitters to stay focused on an aggressive attack.

“We knew we had to be really clean,” senior Lauren Whyte said. “Beating La Salle on Friday, with this being [Huntley’s] debut setting, which she did an awesome job, we were really pumped up. We knew that Temple only had one loss in the A-10, we wanted to give them their second loss. This is the only time we get to play them this year, and probably the last time forever since they’re leaving the A-10.”

Still, despite the momentum heading into the game, it was a slow start on Sunday against Temple. The two teams

Hatchet File Photo by Francis Rivera | Photo Editor

battled back and forth, until the score was at 20-18 Temple, and GW called a timeout, needing a new defensive plan against Temple’s server, Tiffany Connaster. Temple came out on top 27-25 in the first set, with attack errors and a yellow card handed to assistant coach Ryan Freeburg hampering GW’s performance.

Coming back with a huge win in the second set 25-18, the Colonials were on the rise. With nine assists coming from Huntey and an overall attack percentage of .371 to Temple’s .206, the tables were turning. Temple and GW were tied at 1-1.

“I wanted to make sure my hitters got a single block or an opportunity to get a kill,” Huntey said. “We knew our game plan, and we were in the right spots.”

But in the third set, the teeth clenching began. With the Colonials taking the lead, Temple inched its way back into the picture. In a back-and-forth battle with only one point separating the two teams, it was kills from Huntey, sophomore Kelsey Newman and Whyte, assists from senior Candace Silva-Martin, and blocks from junior Jamie Armstrong and sophomore Landon Garvik that squeezed the Colonials out on top. Match point for GW came at 30-28.

“We knew we just came off of a huge win, off the second set, and volleyball is such a game of momentum, we knew we needed to keep the momentum going into the third game,” Whyte said.  “I think we did a really good job of staying steady, we passed well, and put the ball up for [Huntey}, and she did a great job feeding our hitters.”

After a strong third set, the Colonials couldn’t continue their play, falling short in the fourth set fell short with Temple taking over 25-20. Attack errors and service errors punctured GW’s plays, and several balls hit the net or volleyed out of bounds, giving points to Temple.

It was tough being down in the fourth, Newman said, but at the same time, it was a good motivator for the Colonials.

“The fourth set got away from us, “ Ault said. “Mentally we fell off, and we need to change that going into the fifth set.”

With both the game and their three-match win streak on the line, it was a fight to the finish. The Owls jumped out to an 8-4 lead, but GW fought back, using a scoring run to pull ahead 11-9.

From there, the two teams exchanged points until victory came with the final kill from Newman, ending the game 15-12.

“I really wanted to put it down,” Newman said. “Our coaches told us to be really tricky with shots and tips. I thought it was a really smart play. It definitely worked.”

The game saw a season-high 13 team blocks, as well as three players post double-doubles: Whyte, with 26 kills and 24 digs, Newman, with 23 kills and 18 digs, and Huntey, with 51 assists and 17 digs.

“Overall, I think we did a really good job on defense for front row and back row,” Ault said. “ The defenders tightened it up, making big games at the end of the game.”

This article was updated Oct. 14, 2012 to reflect the following:
Based on an incorrect press release, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Temple took a 7-4 lead in the fifth set. It was 8-4.

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Freshman guard Chakecia Miller doges a Richmond defender during Saturday's game in the Smith Center. Samuel Klein | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Brennan Murray.

Some games are just like a bad day at the office, head coach Mike Bozeman said.

Coming off a commanding 11-point victory over Xavier Wednesday, the Colonials (11-13) welcomed the Richmond Spiders into the Smith Center on Saturday afternoon, looking to push their overall record back up to .500. But due to an uncharacteristic failure to execute the system, most notably on the offensive end, GW fell behind early and never made the needed adjustments to find a way out of the hole.

In the second half the Colonials never pulled within 10 points of Richmond’s lead, ultimately dropping the contest 63-51.  Bozeman was not only disappointed with the loss, but also surprised that, despite the solid scouting report and hard work in practice, his team failed to make the game close.

“There’s times when your preparation for a game just doesn’t match the execution in a game,” Bozeman said. “To be totally honest, that’s what disturbs me the most, that we covered everything in practice this week.”

Though it would not be a symbol of the Colonials’ overall offensive performance on the day, the game began with a solid play from senior forward/guard Tara Booker. A strong drive to the paint and a successful layup gave GW a chance for a three-point play right off the bat. Though not complex, Booker’s drive represented the type of offensive determination that the Colonials failed to reproduce throughout the rest of the game.

Following Booker’s basket in the first minute, the Spiders immediately opened up an 8-0 scoring run and hit their first 10 shots. Richmond established a three-point presence early on and GW could not check it, allowing the Spiders nine threes and 53.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Five minutes into the game, the Spiders’ shooting effort and ability to break down the Colonials’ man-to-man defense had given Richmond a 10-point lead.

Eight turnovers, uncharacteristic of GW, hindered the Colonials from breaking down Richmond’s growing lead. Although the Colonials shot 42.9 percent from the field, they made too many mistakes with the ball and by halftime, the Spiders had accumulated a 13-point advantage.

“It was just becoming one of those games. The girls just couldn’t get in a rhythm no matter what we tried to do,” Bozeman said. “It’s nothing you can change with X’s and O’s. We were just playing bad.:

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong struggles to get to the basket during the first half of the game. Armstrong walked onto the team and also competes for GW volleyball. Samuel Klein | Hatchet Photogra

One highlight for the Colonials came with two minutes and 11 seconds to play in the half when new addition to the team, sophomore forward Jamie Armstrong, checked in for the first time. Hoping to give GW a defensive lift, Armstrong quickly went to work in the paint. She grabbed a steal on her very first defensive sequence and then, with just three seconds to go, she recorded an emphatic block that sent the Spiders scrambling to put up a shot before the buzzer sounded. It was a block strangely similar to the powerful blocks she consistently makes every fall, as a member of GW’s volleyball team.

By the end of the game, Armstrong had compiled a total of three blocks and two points, along with a steal. Though she had only practiced with the team once before the game, Armstrong is extremely grateful to have teammates that are willing to help her through all of the adjustment that come with taking the court.

“I was completely nervous but also really excited just to have a chance to help my teammates now. They have all been really good about being supportive and helping me get confident,” said Armstrong.

The second half was almost a mirror image of the first. Despite GW’s 11 total steals and 20 points off of turnovers, the Colonials’ defensive scrappiness was not enough to overcome the scoring power of Richmond. With 11 minutes to go in the game, the Spiders were up by 23.

It was a hole that GW never found its way out of. Although the Colonials shot the ball well, 44 percent in the second half, it was simply not enough to keep the team in the game. GW’s struggles from long range, missing all of their three attempts on the day, also contributed to the loss.

Booker, freshman guard Chakecia Miller, and junior forward/guard Megan Nipe all contributed double-digit point totals despite the loss, recording 14, 10, and 10 points, respectively. Bozeman believes his team suffered from a lack of focus. Although they may have recorded decent shooting percentages, he said, GW lacked the attention to detail needed to win any game, never mind a game against a top-five A-10 team.

“There’s times when I feel like I could have put them in a better position to be more successful. I’m always looking in the mirror first,” Bozeman said. “But my instant reaction to that was to tell the guys that we have to decide to come to the game focused and ready to play.  I don’t think we did that today.”

But despite what he believes was a poor performance against Richmond, Bozeman is sure that his team will be back to playing focused and confident basketball by their next game.

“We’ll be back, we’ll be better. We’ll play harder,” said Bozeman.

The Colonials travel to Philadelphia Wednesday to face conference rival Temple.

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jamie armstrong volleyball

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong, right, sets up for a spike during the D.C. Challenge in fall 2011. Armstrong walked onto the women's basketball team this week. File Photo

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong is familiar with competition on the Smith Center court.

As a standout middle blocker on the volleyball team, Armstrong picked up Atlantic 10 defensive honors in the fall while helping GW travel to the A-10 tournament. Now, the sophomore plans to return to competition as a Colonials– but this time, she’ll be suiting up for the women’s basketball team as a forward, walking into the squad as a response to a bench depleted by injury.

“It’s nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time, but I’m just going to take it as it comes. It’s a huge opportunity for me to just learn from it and grow,” Armstrong said. “It feels great. I’ve always missed it. I’ve played since fourth grade, and I played in high school, it was the big sport in my community. As much as I love volleyball, I always missed basketball, so it’s nice to be able to do both.”

The conversation about Armstrong joining the team initially took form in a conversation the sophomore had with women’s basketball senior forward/guard Tara Booker. As the two discussed the challenges that come with competing with a limited roster– GW suiting up just six players for three of its games– Armstrong mentioned that she played basketball in high school, and that she missed the sport.

When that news reached head coach Mike Bozeman, he approached volleyball head coach Amanda Ault about Armstrong joining his team. Armstrong remains on the volleyball team, and will continue to receive a volleyball scholarship, not women’s basketball. Next fall, she will return to the court for the volleyball program, and it remains to be seen whether she will join the basketball team for a second season, Bozeman said.

“My major concern was our volleyball team, and the coaching staff. I wanted to make sure that we didn’t go recruit her, and I really think that would have had some ethics issues with that, to be recruiting off of the teams at the school. We’re very supportive of each other, the volleyball team and the basketball team, and so we checked with the coach and she said it was fine, and [Armstrong] came on board,” Bozeman said. “Very athletic, obviously, she’s a volleyball player. She picks up things very quickly, she got into some drills that we had that are pretty complicated.”

Armstrong played both sports at Monroe High School in Monroe, Wis., leading the Cheesemakers in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots as a senior while tallying over 1,000 points on her career. The Wisconsin State Journal Girls Basketball Player of the Year in 2010, she averaged 11.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots her senior season. Madison.com called Armstrong “arguably one of the greatest basketball players in Monroe history.”

Armstrong’s volleyball experience will transform into valuable athletic play for the women’s basketball team. Bozeman envisions her as providing an enhanced presence in the post for the Colonials, utilizing her ability to leap and jump at the volleyball net as an equally imposing force at the basket.

“I’m looking for her athleticism in terms of jumping, her timing is obviously impeccable. That’s going to help us with rebounding. And I just want to see her beat people down the court, get some easy buckets,” Bozeman said. “Nice little jump shot she has, too.”

Armstrong is working to get into basketball shape, conscious of the difference between playing the two different sports, but she said working with the team and its trainers will aid her transformation into a GW basketball player. The forward will be a welcome fresh set of legs for the depth-challenged Colonials, and will help in allowing injured players extra time to rehabilitate while providing some relief for the players who have been playing increased amounts of time, Bozeman said.

The head coach said Armstrong took to the team’s plays and drills quickly in practice today, and though she will likely not compete against Richmond tomorrow, she will travel with the team and enter competition soon. Her learning curve is “very short,” Bozeman said, and the Colonials have been quick to embrace the addition to their roster.

“She’s a volleyball player, she’s just stepping onto the basketball team, helping her school community out,” Bozeman said.

Lauren French contributed to this report.

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Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 3:26 p.m.

Armstrong, Whyte grab A-10 weekly awards

jamie armstrong volleyball

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong, right, sets up for a spike during the D.C. Challenge earlier this season. File Photo

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong and junior Lauren Whyte have been named the Atlantic 10 Volleyball Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively.

The Colonials’ solid contributions helped their team post two victories to close out its home schedule this season and clinch a berth in the upcoming Atlantic 10 Championship in Dayton, Ohio. GW defeated Saint Louis and Duquesne 3-2 in the Smith Center this weekend.

Armstrong averaged 1.30 blocks per set on the weekend, good enough to earn her third A-10 honor of the season. Against Saint Louis, she posted nine block assists, including three in the decisive fifth set, adding seven kills against one error (.400) and five digs. Armstrong continued her solid play against the Dukes, adding seven kills against one error for the second night in a row, and four block assists and three service aces.

Whyte totaled 44 kills against just 12 errors, swinging .239 overall on the weekend. She posted 19 kills and three errors against the Billikens on Friday night, adding nine digs and four blocks. Facing the Dukes, Whyte earned her seventh double-double of the 2011 season, posting a season-high 25 kills and 10 digs. The award marks the fourth time in Whyte’s career as a Colonial that she has earned A-10 weekly honors.

GW concludes the regular season this weekend, heading to Rhode Island on Nov. 11 and Fordham on Nov. 12.

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jamie armstrong volleyball

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong, right, sets up for a spike during the D.C. Challenge. Armstrong contributed eight kills during GW's 3-2 victory over Xavier Sunday. | File Photo

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong is the Atlantic 10′s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week, her second such honor of the season.

Armstrong totaled 10 blocks in the Colonials two games this weekend, helping GW to an even 1-1 record on the weekend’s play. She posted eight blocks in GW’s comeback victory over Xavier Sunday, leading the way defensively in the crucial fifth set with four blocks.

The Colonials next host Fordham Oct. 14 at 6 p.m.

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Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 1:02 a.m.

Volleyball drops first two A-10 matches

by admin

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Camille Herring.

jamie armstrong volleyball

Sophomore Jamie Armstrong, right, sets up for a spike during the D.C. Challenge. Armstrong contributed two kills during GW's 3-1 loss to Duquesne Friday. | File Photo

The honeymoon is over.

The Colonials opened up A-10 play this weekend after an out-of-conference schedule that saw them post a ten-game win streak before dropping their last three games. In their first league match Friday, GW fell to Duquesne with a tough 3-1 loss, and dropped their second conference game, 3-0, to Saint Louis two days later.

The games were head coach Amanda Ault’s first A-10 matches with the Colonials, and she said the team went into the weekend viewing it as a fresh slate.

“We were 10-3 [in] preseason, but we just look at it as if [we’re] going in with zero,” Ault said. “It’s a fresh start for everyone in the conference.”

Despite the loss, GW’s (10-5) match Friday was a game of new levels. Junior Lauren Whyte posted double digits twice, slamming 18 kills and scooping 11 digs. She was joined offensively by redshirt junior Katie Crosby with 35 assists to compliment her career-high numbers of eight kills and 17 digs. Providing defensive support, junior Candace Silva-Martin set a team high of 29 digs. But their play wasn’t enough to stave off a dominant Duquesne squad, who swung .307 throughout the match, holding the Colonials to .198.

The opening set was a close one, neck-and-neck throughout most of the set with seven ties. After three lead changes, however, the Dukes pulled out a 25-20 set victory, following with a 25-15 victory in the second set.

The Colonials rallied in the third set, jumping into play with an 11-5 lead. The Dukes continued to battle, though, forcing six ties and five lead changes. Propelled by freshman Christy Harper, who came off the bench to contribute key blocks during the set, GW ultimately snatched the 27-25 victory, forcing a fourth set.

“With refocusing and taking care of ourselves we came back for a fight,” Ault said. “We played like we knew how.”

GW returned for the last set of the game, but couldn’t gather momentum from their hard-fought victory in the third. The Colonials hit a flat note, falling to Duquesne’s controlled game. The Dukes swung .370 on their way to a 25-16 set victory, clinching the match.

The loss, Ault said, came from gaps in the Colonials’ play.

“On the court we were very inconsistent. We do great things and then we sit for a while,”Ault said.

Two days later the Colonials fell to another league rival, defeated in straight sets, 3-0, by Saint Louis.

Though Whyte again led the way with a team-high 11 kills and seven digs, the Colonials lacked the needed momentum in the first set, allowing the Billikens to hit .393 and convert on 75 percent of sideout point opportunities. Posting only a .139 attack percentage, GW dropped the first set 25-20.

GW pinned St. Louis to a .089 attack in the second set, but their solid defensive effort was not enough to make up for the Colonials’ .000 attack percentage and 11 attack errors. Saint Louis clinched the set with a 5-0 run to post a 24-21 set victory. GW’s offensive struggles continued in the last set, hitting a  -.089 and allowing the Billikens to snatch a quick, three-set victory.

The Colonials travel next to Loyola Sept. 28 before returning home to host three more conference rivals: Charlotte and Dayton Oct. 7 and Xavier Oct. 9. As GW continues its season, Ault said she will demand solid, reliable play from her team.

“To move forward we just need to compete,” Ault said. “We have all the skills. It’s just about competing on a consistent basis.”

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