Home-court advantage a catalyst for Duhawks

The men’s volleyball team has been battling all season long, with outstanding performances from multiple athletes. The Duhawks are showing their resiliency, especially at home, as they continue conference play.

photo courtesy of Loras College Athletics

Since the last publication, the men have played three conference games at home while traveling for one. In a hard-fought game, the Duhawks kept to their habits of winning at home with a win over Marian. With the match tied at two sets apiece, the fifth set was a back-and-forth nail-biter. Down 15-14, the Duhawks rallied with a kill and two attacking errors off serves from junior Danny Krasich to win, 17-15.

The star of this match was junior Dylan Ross, a name familiar with the highlight reel. Ross led the way for the Duhawks with 17 kills and 17 digs throughout the match. His 17 digs tied the program record. The Duhawks showed off their consistency with a perfect reception percentage, committing no errors in serve receive.

Dominican proved to be a worthy opponent in the Duhawks’ next match. With a record of 8-1, and a perfect conference record, the men faced their toughest conference opponent to date. Despite a close second set, the Stars took the match in three straight sets.

Despite the loss, sophomore Austin Kuchenbecker had a significant performance. Kuchenbecker netted seven kills, two blocks, and a .500 attack percentage in the three sets. The loss dropped the Duhawks below .500 overall, but acted as only their second loss at home.

Next up for the Duhawks was a trip to Sheboygan, WI, where the men took on a proven Lakeland team.

The Muskies were too much for the Duhawk men, as they were beaten in three sets. The third set was down to the wire, but Lakeland capitalized on a Duhawk attacking error, giving them an edging win of 27-25.

Ross was able to produce stats well in the loss. Ross finished with 11 kills, three solo blocks and four digs, proving that even in defeat, players can find their rhythm. The loss dropped Loras to a 3-6 record in the conference, while bringing the Duhawks’ away record to 1-5.

In the most recent match, Loras returned home to take on Fontbonne, in hopes of ending their losing streak. The match was painstaking, as not one set was decided by any more than four points. But the men put their all into the match, as they edged the Griffins in four sets.

The home-court advantage was with the Duhawks once again, as their home record improved. Sophomores Greg Kinney and Aaron Miller were stand out performers, finishing with .500 and .409 hitting, respectively, as well as double-digit kills.

The Duhawks now sit at 6-7 overall, 4-6 in the MCVL. In the near future are two key matchups, both away. The men will be traveling to Milwaukee, WI, on Friday to take on MSOE in a conference rematch. Saturday, the Duhawks look at a tough day of matches, as they face No. 8 Carthage and No. 10 Rivier. Send support to the Duhawks as they work for a .500 record and look to work their way up the conference rankings.

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