Senior Rachael Goss stepped up in a big way with a season-high 16 kills as the Colonials (7-10, 2-1 A-10) get their most resounding win of the season in front of a supportive Smith Center crowd, sweeping La Salle 25-13, 25-12, 25-14.
Goss’ 16 kills fueled the dominant GW performance. With a season-high 35.2% attack percentage, the Colonials were firing on all cylinders, showing a high energy performance, especially along the net.
The Colonials got off to a quick start, jumping ahead to an 11-4 lead to start the game. Freshman setter Emily Clemens got 12 of her 20 assists in the first set. The Explorers were unable to get into a rhythm in the set, and the momentum continued through the entire game.
La Salle (1-22, 0-5 A-10) came into the game having won just two sets in the last 17 games. They had communications issues throughout the game, getting just a 6.1% attack percentage. The Explorers were not able to show any consistency in stopping the GW attack. Freshman Rachel Finkbeiner led the attack for La Salle, nabbing seven kills. The Explorers had one ace and six service errors to GW’s seven aces and three errors, the latter stat tying for a season low.
GW started four newcomers, including freshman Chidima Osuchukwu and junior college transfer Gabrial Rushton, whose power was able to fill the void left by recent graduate Lauren Whyte. Osuchukwu, who is second on GW’s kills list, added six to her total.
Rachael Goss also led the way for the Colonials in the dig category, notching 13. Emily Clemens also got double-digit digs, getting 11. The freshman also shined in service, getting three aces, tying her with sophomore libero Maddy Doyle with 12 on the season.
GW’s kills leader, Kelsey Newman, did not play. The Colonials donned pink uniforms in the annual Dig Pink game for breast cancer awareness. They face VCU on Saturday in the Smith Center, a team they lost to in straight sets last weekend.
It seemed like it was going to be one of those days when everything went right for GW when Ranalli blasted the ball into the back of the net not five minutes into the game. The home Colonials seemed in control, but a goal in the 23rd minute revitalized the Robert Morris Colonials, whose attack could not be stopped until the last fifteen minutes of the game. RMU controlled possession and wouldn’t give GW a moment of rest.
Head Coach Craig Jones had to say of his team’s performance, “The issue that we have right now is teams are not beating us, we’re beating ourselves by giving away goals.” That was no exaggeration. The Colonials have been outscored 9-3 in their last four games, which Coach Jones attributed to mistakes on the defensive side of the ball. The defense seemed out of sync and was sluggish to get back in transition.
However sloppy they were, GW was able to prevent Robert Morris from taking the lead until the 74th minute, when the Colonials defense gave up the ball just twenty yards from the goal, and RMU senior Brett Neco scored for the second time, beating GW sophomore goalkeeper JP van der Merwe with a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal.
“Basically it was a tactical error on the first goal… and an error by myself, too, that gave up the other goal,” van der Merwe said of the team’s defending after the game. The team’s major concern seems to be improving their defense.
The hot afternoon sun certainly didn’t make the Colonials feel any better, and both sides were getting verbal and physical, with each team meriting a yellow card in the final ten minutes of play.
Despite their struggles throughout the game, GW was able to press hard in the last fifteen minutes of the game to try to equalize. They were able to create several chances, but could not put the ball into the back of the net.
“We’ll do our due diligence in terms of the scouting reports and put together… an eleven on the field… that can get us some results,” Coach Jones said of his team’s preparations for their A-10 Conference opener at Dayton on October 11. That is the next time the GW Colonials will take the pitch, looking to improve on their 3-6 record in nonconference play.
WRGW Sports Director
Washington, DC – The Colonials played with heart after going down in the first two sets, but their comeback effort was too little too late as the Towson Tigers captured the upset win Sunday afternoon 3-1.
The Colonials, who have now lost their last three and five of their last seven, were hoping the friendly confines of the Charles E. Smith Center would turn their luck around, but fell to 5-8 for the season against their DMV rivals.
After losing the first two sets, the Colonials were able to win a back-and-forth game in the third, thanks to a stellar performance by junior outside hitter Kelsey Newman, and came out to a fast start in the fourth set, but the Tigers came roaring back to win the game and the match.
The Colonials didn’t hold a lead once in the first two sets, as Towson came out strong on the road. Junior opposite Victoria Williams led the way for the Tigers with 7 kills and 2 blocks in the first two sets. She would finish the match with 15 kills and 5 blocks. The Colonials dropped the first two matches 25-17 and 25-20.
The Colonials kept the match alive in a nail-biter of a game that saw them come out on top 25-22. Newman led the way in this one with six kills and one block while sophomore setter Jordan Timmer made 10 assists. On the third game set for the Colonials, Newman was able to sneak her sixth kill of the game past the Towson blockers to put it away.
George Washington carried the momentum from the third set into the fourth set jumping out to a quick 7-1 lead, but 10 errors in the game led to the Tigers going on two 6 point runs. One of those runs came when it mattered the most. GW, up 24-19, lost five straight game points and gave up the lead to Towson before scoring a point to tie it up at 25. Two match points later, Victoria Williams was able to notch her 15th kill of the game and Towson put away the Colonials with a game score of 28-26.
The Colonials were led by 18 kills, 6 digs, and 1 block by Newman and 5 kills and 8 blocks by freshman middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu.
The Colonials, in the spirit of GW Alumni Weekend, honored 10 GW Volleyball alumnae between the second and third sets.
The Colonials wrapped up their out of conference schedule with a record of 5-8. They begin their Atlantic 10 schedule Friday, in Richmond, against Virginia Commonwealth University. They will return to the Smith Center October 11 to take on La Salle.
WRGW Soccer Correspondent
WASHINGTON, DC – Senior captain Tyler Ranalli set the tone early and often, netting a career high three goals and leading the Colonials to a 4-0 win over the Virginia Military Institute Keydets Saturday afternoon from the Mt. Vernon Field, improving to 3-2-0 on the season.
Ranalli stole the ball from a VMI defender and continued to slip a shot past the sliding keeper to give the Colonials a 1-0 lead in the second minute. The game then settled in, with GW controlling more possession and creating more chances than their opponent.
Ranalli credited his performance on his practice this week, “I put in a lot of work this week after practice to make sure that I was ready to take my chances and really work on finishing.”
Post Game Interview with Senior Forward Tyler Ranalli:
Meanwhile, the back four for the Colonials held strong, allowing only one shot on goal and contributing to the third shutout of the season for the team.
Thirty minutes in, goalkeeper JP van der Merwe played a big ball from the back, which six-foot-five sophomore Philip McQuitty flicked into the path of a cutting Ranalli who beat the keeper in similar fashion to his first goal.
The Colonials held out for the rest of the half, which became progressively more physical. Fifteen total fouls and a yellow card for a VMI’s Ripa Santo. This trend continued into the second half which brought two more yellow cards and plenty of hard fouls.
The Colonials won the physical battle, gaining an advantage on head balls and not giving VMI’s players a chance to breathe let alone shoot; the Keydets managed only four shots in the game. This is a tribute to the organization and teamwork of the defense.
Post Game Interview with Junior Defenseman Andri Alexandersson:
Early in the second half, Ranalli spread the wealth. He played a low ball to junior Farhan Khan at the top of the eighteen; Khan beat a defender, and finished with a strong left-footed shot to the top left corner of the net.
The Colonials had a firm grasp on the game at this point, but Ranalli still owed us one more goal. It came on a cross from freshman Angel Valencia which Ranalli finished with a sliding effort to complete his hat-trick.
After his effort in today’s game, Ranalli was already looking forward to the team’s future, “This is definitely a building block to future games. We expected to win this game…we’re going to move on to the next one and make sure we win that too.”
“Each game, we’re getting a little better in every area,” said 2nd year Head Coach Craig Jones, looking ahead to the direction the team is trending.
Post Game Interview with Head Coach Craig Jones:
The Colonials will look to ride this momentum to victory against St. Peter’s in Jersey City on Wednesday, before coming back home to play Navy for the “Kickin’ It on The Vern” game on Saturday.