A sweep of Central kicked off the women’s volleyball team’s 2-0 weekend this past Friday, Sept. 29, with Loras claiming victory 25-16, 25-17, and 28-26.
“A 3-0 win is always a good one,” said Head Coach Jenna Ness. “Especially in conference.”
The Duhawks and Dutch battled back and forth until mid-game of both of the first sets before the Duhawks took the upper hand.
“We served tough which allowed us to stay in system on our side and play really good defense,” said Ness. “(Sophomore) Kayla Kinney really served lights out, five in the first set, six overall … I think it’s because she served so well that everyone was able to get comfortable; Central can run a pretty fast offense, but by serving tough, we were able to get them out of system most of the night.”
In addition to the aces, Kinney also posted two blocks and 10 kills, bringing out a .409 attacking percentage, her career-best. Junior Jenna LaCorte also shined offensively with a total of 10 kills for the night, her final of which ended the running third set.
“Our kids just played really calm and confident even though there was a lot going on that night (in the Athletic Wellness Center),” said Ness. “There were a lot of students there, a lot of fans, a lot of hype, a lot of energy in the gym that night.”
The team also honored senior Haley Bergan before the match as the now current holder of the Loras College dig record.
The Simpson Storm then made a visit to the Lillis Court the following day, Sept. 30, providing the Duhawks some strong competition. An emptier gym from the previous night made for a slow start for the women. They were, however, able to take the first two sets for themselves, 25-19 and 25-17, but lost their grip, giving up the third and fourth sets 25-21 and 25-22.
The Storm took an early lead in set five, 6-1. The Storm was still in the lead, post-switch 11-5 when sophomore Michelle Budden decided to take the game into her own hands, claiming six of the last nine points as her own.
“We were down 9-14 with Kinney at the service line,” said Ness. “She showed a lot of guts back there and served tough while playing some really good defense … Besides Kayla’s serving lights out, really gritty, Michelle Budden was definitely our shiner in that game and throughout the entire match.”
Budden finished the match with a career-high of 30 kills in a single match, also claiming a Loras program record and acquiring a .431 attacking percentage. Eight of the 10 kills in the fifth match belonged to Budden.
The women then took on Edgewood on Wednesday and will be headed to Storm Lake, IA, to play Buena Vista Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.