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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

Despite comeback bid, volleyball downed by URI

The Colonials host Loyola (Md.) in the Smith Center for a game earlier this season. GW lost in five sets to Rhode Island on Friday night. Daniel Martinez Gonzalez | Hatchet Photographer
The Colonials host Loyola (Md.) in the Smith Center for a game earlier this season. GW lost in five sets to Rhode Island on Friday night. Daniel Martinez Gonzalez | Hatchet Photographer
This post was written by Hatchet reporter Chelsea Bendelow.

GW and Rhode Island fought neck and neck for five sets Friday night to open the second half of Atlantic 10 play, as the two evenly matched sides each tried to gain a valuable conference victory.

But despite the Colonials’ unwavering attempts to salvage their game with short pickups, skidding dives and out-of-play saves, the match resulted in a familiar and disappointing end for the team, which wound up losing 23–25, 25–27, 25–19, 25–19, 14–16 to the Rams.

GW (16–8, 5–3 A-10) got off to a powerful start, with its strong offensive players, particularly freshman outside hitter Kelsey Clark senior middle blocker Maggie Skjelbred asserting both their power and skill on the Rams’ defense. But the Rams (15–6, 5–3 A-10) pulled every trick out of their long, blue sleeves to pick up what they could and stay in the game. GW was ahead late in both the first and second sets, but Rhode Island rallied back to win the set both times.

“Whenever we play Rhode Island it’s always a scrappy game. I can’t remember the last time that we played them and didn’t go to the fifth set, they were picking up some crazy stuff, but they were doing a job just like we were. Bottom line that scrappy, sort of anything-goes ended up winning,” head coach Amanda Ault said.

Despite the loss, GW demonstrated the power that is behind its offensive game. The Colonials walked away with a .255 hitting percentage and 66 total kills. The team’s ability to pick up a chaotic game is due to its ability to “go out of control in a controlled area,” according to senior libero Maddy Doyle, who passed 25 digs to lead all players on the night.

“Eventually, we realize that we don’t have any other option, this could be the last game. We have to play as hard as we can. We’re definitely working on that as a team and building on that thinking, but we’re taking it one game at a time,” Doyle said.

While the loss was the Colonials’ third in A-10 play this season, the match did allow Clark to demonstrate her aggressive front row skills because All-American junior middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu was out due to injury. Ault said after the match that Osuchukwu would be forced to sit out the weekend.

“In the past I was a middle, and today’s match was just like putting on the old shoes and reassuming that role,” Clark said. “All I had to do was do my job. I didn’t have to do more because Chi Chi was out and I don’t need to be her because she’s an amazing player. I was just being aggressive and doing what I needed to do for the team.”

Despite a deceiving fifth set, in which GW came back from a 9-14 deficit, a tip from a URI’s Franki Darnold ended Doyle’s serving streak and, in turn, took away any momentum the Colonials had built. GW ended Friday night with a 5-3 record in the A-10 conference.

“The outcome was tough and the situation that we put ourselves in was disappointing, but there was a lot of good stuff that came out of this match. We’ve got to see that part and build on that,” Ault said.

The Colonials will resume their A-10 weekend Saturday, Oct. 24 against Fordham at 7 p.m.

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