PHILADELPHIA – GW volleyball picked up a pair of wins over Providence (3-2) and Penn (3-0) on Friday at the Sheraton University City Invitational in Philadelphia.
After falling behind 2-0 in its match against Providence, the Buff & Blue rallied to win three straight sets to earn the five-set victory, 23-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-16, 15-10. It was GW’s first three-set comeback since September 16, 2019, when the Buff & Blue came back to beat George Mason in five sets.
Momentum continued for GW, sweeping Penn, 25-13, 25-16, 25-16, to pick up the team’s second 3-0 win this season.
BY THE NUMBERS
Life Womble (16), MC Daubendiek (12), Tierra Porter (11) duck Brittany Myers (11) recorded double-figure kills, leading GW’s offense to victory.
Grace Allread led the setting duo with 28 assists and Dilara Elmacioglu set a career high with 21 helpers to GW’s 57-kill match with a .250 hitting percentage.
Defensively, Bella Bowman led GW’s back line with 29 digs, a season-high for the graduate libero. Penelope Heipler added 10 digs. Tierra Porter tallied five blocks to lead GW at the net, including four block assists and one solo block.
Myers’ offensive output continued in GW’s second match of the day, this time tallying 11 kills behind a .303 efficiency in the Buff & Blue’s sweep of Penn. Womble added seven kills and Daubendiek chipped in six. Markella Lanara saw action at middle blocker, recording three kills to go along with three aces.
Allread fed the attack with 16 assists, helping GW to a season-high .293 hitting percentage. Bowman scooped up 16 digs and first-year Amina Robinson registered 15. Womble came up with six blocks at the net and Porter added five.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Set one featured 13 ties and seven lead changes, with no team leading by more than three throughout the entirety of the opening frame. GW held the three-point advantage at 12-9 and narrowly out-hit Providence, tallying 15 kills to the Friars’ 14. However, the back-and-forth went in favor of Providence, who rode a three-point scoring run to regain control at 23-21 to put one away.
Providence’s attack swung for a team-high .348 in set two, with 10 kills and two errors. While GW tallied nine kills, five errors made a difference, falling behind 2-0 in the match.
Back-to-back sets with 12-plus kills and a .250 or better hitting percentage paved the way to GW’s comeback. Providence led just one time across sets three and four, with GW clinching both sets to force a 15-point match-deciding set.
A five-point scoring run boosted GW to a 9-4 advantage in set five. Eight of the Buff & Blue’s 15 points were kills, recording a .438 hitting percentage to complete the comeback.
GW never gave up its lead in the first two sets, allowing just three ties in total before moving to a 2-0 set advantage.
Sparked by a seven-point scoring run in the early portion of set one, GW managed a 17-8 lead on Penn’s home floor. After a four-point rally from the Quakers, GW outscored Penn 8-1 to take a 1-0 set advantage.
A match-high 14 kills with a .375 hitting percentage came in set two, putting GW just one set away from a 2-0 day in Philadelphia.
GW’s offense continued to pour in set three, with 11 kills and .292 efficiency. Seven straight points from GW forced a Penn timeout, but the Quakers found no answer for the Buff & Blue, who extended their lead to 21-11 before earning the 3-0 victory.
The Buff & Blue will look to make it a 3-0 weekend when they face Temple on Saturday in the team’s final game at the Sheraton University City Invitational. First serve from The Palestra is scheduled for 1:30 pm