GEORGE WASHINGTON HOLDS OFF HARD-CHARGING VCU IN TOURNEY FINALE

RICHMOND, Va. – All-Tournament picks Courtney Hott (Fredericksburg, Va.) and Cecilia Aragao (Recife, Brazil) lived up to their billing, but that wasn't enough to get Virginia Commonwealth University past George Washington, which held on for a 3-1 (26-24, 28-26, 20-25, 25-11) win in the finale of the VCU/Third Degree Sportswear Invitational Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

VCU slips to 4-6 with the loss. The Rams were 2-1 on the weekend, including victories over Cornell and North Carolina A&T. George Washington completed a 3-0 weekend to remain undefeated at 9-0.
 
Hott, as she was most of the weekend, was nearly unstoppable. The senior middle blocker hit .556 against the Colonials with 12 kills and also provided a match-best nine total blocks, including a pair of solos. For the weekend, Hott averaged 2.91 kills per set and hit a robust .491.
 
Aragao, a freshman setter, added 37 assists, 21 digs and three blocks to her impressive weekend totals. Aragao handed out an average of 10.50 assists and dug 3.80 balls per set in three tournament matches.
 
Taylor Knox led a balanced George Washington attack with 16 kills Saturday. All-Tournament selection Candace Silva-Martin also provided 23 digs.
 
The first two sets were knockdown, drag-out affairs that saw the Colonials pull out skin-of-their-teeth victories both times.
 
In the first, the Rams rallied from a 23-16 deficit to tie the match at 24-24. However, a Knox kill and an unforced VCU error ended the threat.
 
The second frame was close throughout. VCU reached match-point at 24-23 on a right-handed smash by junior Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.), but couldn't put the final nail in GW's coffin.  Knox, as she did much of the evening, closed out the Rams on the final point off a feed from Katie Crosby, who also earned All-Tournament honors.
 
The Black and Gold will return to action on Friday, Sept. 16, when it kicks off play at the Michigan State Invitational with Sacred Heart at 4:30 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich.  
 
VCU/THIRD DEGREE SPORTSWEAR INVITATIONAL |
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
 
Candace Silva-Martin, George Washington
Katie Crosby, George Washington
Courtney Hott, VCU
Cecilia Aragao, VCU
Meagan Tatum, Cornell
Jeana Daniels, North Carolina A&T
 
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