VOLLEYBALL | Hoyas Defeat DePaul, Qualify for Big East Tournament

The Georgetown volleyball team split its Big East home matchups last week, sweeping DePaul but falling to Marquette in three sets. On Friday, the Hoyas (14-12, 7-7 Big East) faced the Blue Demons (5-20, 3-11 Big East), who narrowly defeated Georgetown on Sept. 29 in four sets. With a Big East tournament bid on the line, Georgetown swept DePaul by in three sets, with scores of 25-16, 25-21 and 25-20. The Hoyas and the Blue Demons were neck and neck in the early going, with both teams trading the first four points of the first set before Georgetown took the lead at 5-2. DePaul fought back to level the scoring at 8-8 behind strong play from freshman outsider hitter Mattie Norris. The Hoyas responded, starting an 8-4 run and forcing the Blue Demons to call a timeout at 16-12. This stoppage of play did not halt Georgetown’s momentum, and the Blue and Gray closed out the set behind runs of 5-2 and 4-2 to win 25-16. The Hoyas carried their momentum into the second set, carving out an early 5-2 lead. The Blue Demons responded with a 5-2 run to knot the game at 7-7, forcing Georgetown to call a timeout. DePaul extended its lead to 13-10, its largest of the match. After regaining the lead, Georgetown never looked back, claiming the second frame 25-21. The Hoyas continued their success early in the third set, pulling out to a 6-2 lead. They remained comfortably ahead throughout the rest of the set, with the Blue Demons not coming within four points. Georgetown clinched the victory with a 25-20 win in the final set. On Saturday, Georgetown could not replicate the previous day’s success against Marquette, dropping a 3-0 decision to the No. 19 Golden Eagles (22-5, 12-2 Big East) by scores of 25-14, 26-24 and 25-10. The second frame proved the tightest of the match. The Golden Eagles dominated the start of the second set, seizing the first four points on their way to an 8-2 early lead. Georgetown answered with a 4-1 run to shrink Marquette’s lead to 9-6, but the Golden Eagles pushed ahead and extended their lead to 16-11. Georgetown then registered a 6-3 run to force a Marquette timeout at 19-17. The Hoyas battled the Golden Eagles to a tie score at 24-24 before dropping the final two points and falling 26-24. Sophomore outside hitter Hope Werch and junior outside hitter Allie Barber led the Golden Eagle offense with 13 kills apiece, while junior setter Lauren Speckman registered a game-high 19 assists. Georgetown’s defense was led by senior libero Kenzie Higareda, who recorded 15 digs. The Hoya offense saw strong performances from sophomore setter Margo Pivonka, who added 18 assists, and senior outside hitter Alyssa Sinnette, who totaled 12 kills. Sinnette was named to the Big East weekly honor roll for her play against DePaul and Marquette. She registered five kills per set over the weekend while hitting at a .355 clip from the outside. She tallied 18 kills at a .577 rate on her way to recording her 1,300th career kill against DePaul, moving into sixth place all-time for kills in program history. Georgetown journeys to Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 9 for a pivotal matchup against Big East foe Creighton.

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