George Washington Holds Off Volleyball's Rally For Four-Set Win

Sept. 6, 2016

BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland turned a -.067 second-set hitting percentage into a .419 mark in the third, pushing George Washington University to a fourth set, but the visiting Colonials held on for 25-21, 25-12, 20-25, 25-22 non-conference victory.

Ann Ernst posted 10 of her match-high 23 kills in the third set as she recorded her second-straight match with 23 or more kills. Erin Cunningham turned in a career-high, and match-best, 23 digs for the Greyhounds (2-2 overall).

The Colonials (4-3) hit .542 and controlled the second set, putting away 13 kills without an error on just 24 swings. They also logged six of their 16 total blocks during the frame.

Loyola, however, battled back in the third. After breaking a 9-9 tie with a Chidima Osuchukwu kill, George Washington stretched its advantage to 12-10 on another kill by its senior middle.

An Ernst kill gave the Greyhounds a sideout point, and Cunningham scored four points off her serve. Two of those points came on Colonials attack errors, and the other two were via Ernst kills. Her third during the 5-0 run gave Loyola a 15-12 advantage.

Molly Jarvis and Alisah Cash locked up a block on Skylar Iott to make it 17-13 Loyola, and Iott then hit a ball long to make the Greyhounds' lead five. Later in the set, George Washington pulled to within three, 21-18, on an Alexis Lete ace, but Loyola quickly scored the next two points. Haley Puddy closed out the stanza with a kill.

George Washington looked poised to cruise to a fourth-set win, going ahead 17-11 on a Loren Williams kill, but Loyola pulled within two, 19-17, on a Jarvis ace. The Colonials went back up by four, 24-20, on an Osuchukwu kill, but blocks on back-to-back plays by Stacey Kazalas and Puddy and then Jarvis and Ernst made it a two-point set before Williams had a kill to end the contest.

Led by Iott's 13, three George Washington players had 11 or more kills, Oschukwu posted 12, while Williams added 11.

Jane Lukas made her season debut in the second set and finished with seven kills and seven digs for the Greyhounds.

The Greyhounds are back in action this weekend when they travel to Storrs, Conn., to play in the Dog Pound Challenge starting on Friday, Sept. 9.