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Dayton Wins A-10 Volleyball Championship Opener

Release: 11/22/2013
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Courtesy: Mitchell Leff/Atlantic 10
WASHINGTON—No. 3 George Washington outlasted No. 6 Rhode Island, 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19), in the Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship quarterfinals Friday night at the Charles E. Smith Center. The Colonials advance to play No. 2 VCU Saturday in the semifinals at 7:30 pm.

After being down 1-0, GW, who is hosting the championship, rallied and took the next three matches in front of a raucous crowd, spurred by four players with double-digit kills and four players with double-digit digs. Rachel Goss (15 kills, 10 digs) and Kelsey Newman (12 kills, 10 digs), each had double-doubles for the Colonials.

The first set was back-and forth, and Rhode Island needed extra points to win 27-25. The Rams had set point at 24-23 after a Catie Steffen kill, but Newman tied it at 24 with a kill.  Lena Vedder gave Rhody another set point, but Newman again fought it off. A kill from Layne Self and a block from Self and Callan Kinnan finished the marathon 27-25 URI win.

The Colonials pulled the match even with a set two win, breaking a 21-all tie by winning the final four points on a block by Chidima Osuchukwu and Emily Clemens and kills from Clemens and Newman for the 25-21 win.

After the teams split sets 1-2 and Rhode Island held a four-point lead following a kill by Kinnan, but the Colonials went on a 8-4 run to tie it at 20 on a Clemens kill. A Jamie Armstrong ace, followed by blocks from Gabrial Rushton, Clemens and Newman and a kill by Newman gave GW the next five points and the third set 25-20.

GW had 17 kills and hit .406 to control the fourth set offensively, paced by Goss, who recorded seven kills and hit .875. The Colonials used that hitting to go on a 7-1 run midway through the set that eventually led to the 25-19 win.

Rhode Island’s Franki Darnold led all players with 19 kills and had 15 digs for a double-double. She also hit .318.  Steffen tallied 10 kills and Lizzy Scanlon had a team-high 17 digs.

Osuchukwu and Landon Garvik were GW’s other two players with double-digit kills, registering 15 and 10 kills respectively. Osuchukwu led all players with a .462 hitting percentage and she also had a match-high five blocks. Clemens had 15 digs and Maddy Doyle recorded a match-high 25 digs.

Rhode Island finishes the season at 15-16 overall and were 7-7 in conference play.

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