Duhawks volley FTK, new & old faces introduced at Lillis Court

The men’s volleyball team welcomed to their court a special group last Thursday, March 1. In addition to their scheduled match against Benedictine, the Duhawks were accompanied by a handful of the Loras College Dance Marathon miracle kiddos.

Photos by Brooke Boddicker — One of the miracle children joins the team in a pregame huddle for a pep talk. She also helped a number of athletes warm up by passing volleyballs to them.

“It was super cool to have the opportunity to show the kids that we support them, that we’re fighting right there with them,” said junior Nadir Morgan. “I know a lot of the kids don’t really get the opportunity to go out and just have fun.”

As part of the second annual Volley For The Kids night, Dance Marathon teamed up with the Duhawk men’s volleyball team for a fun and lighthearted night out, that featured fundraisers, special warm-up shirts and new faces on the court for warm ups and huddles.

“It’s amazing to see these two groups support one another to benefit something that is much greater than either of them,” said LCDM Leadership Team Member Brooke Boddicker. “The outcome of the match may not have been favorable, but the smile on Addison’s (a miracle kiddo) face did not leave the entire night, and that’s what made the night so successful.”

The night also included complimentary snacks and drinks in the hospitality suite for families in addition to t-shirt sales and a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Dance Marathon cause.

“For me, it’s something that’s really special,” said Head Coach Jeremy Thornburg, “Any way to brighten up their days and make them a part of something, I’m going to be all about it.”

Not only was the night a significant one for the miracle kids and Thornburg, but with the traveling Benedictine Eagles came a familiar face to Loras setter Danny Krasich: his twin brother Eric.

The miracle kiddos were able to meet Coach Thornburg and hang out a little bit before the game started.

“We are very competitive … We have faced each in both sports (cross country and volleyball) in our college careers, and we really look forward to it; it’s always one of the best games of the year,” said Krasich.

Having grown up “super close,” the twins made sure to stay connected though they went to different colleges.

“Choosing two different college was probably the hardest decision in my life up until then because we’d done everything together,” said Krasich. “But I think the distance made us even closer.”

As Benedictine also sported DM FTK gear during warm-ups, there was an undeniably positive energy in the AWC that night.

“I think it helps (the team) to know they’re fortunate to do what they do every day. So I think it gives them a little something extra to fight for,” said Thornburg.

Despite a 3-0 loss to the Eagles, the Duhawks played hard, going 25-12, 25-22 and 25-14 in the three sets. In the spirit of the Volley FTK night, the second set was a back-and-forth battle with Benedictine only leading toward the end of the set.

“Credit goes to Benedictine for sure. They are a very good team, and they came on a night that we didn’t play to our potential; a couple aspects of our game fell short, and they were able to expose it,” said Krasich. “It’s a game of errors, and we made more than Benedictine that night.”

The match started out in favor of the Eagles who went on a 10-point run to give them an early lead 19-7. Of those 10, seven were from Duhawk errors. The second set was more competitive, the Duhawks coming within two late in the game, 20-22, before the Eagles struck back hard to the finish. A series of strong runs for Benedictine sealed their victory.

“While the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, they still gave everything they have,” said Thornburg.

The men are back in MCVL action this Saturday, March 10, against the Augustana Vikings. Sitting at 1-1 in the conference, the hope to Duhawks stride ahead, in pursuit of an upper hand in conference seeds.

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