Peters leads attack against Wittenberg Tigers
The home court is a coveted advantage that the Duhawks have had for five of their nine conference matches this season. Hoping to use this advantage, the team ended the two-game weekend split 1-1, falling to Mount St. Joseph, 0-3, and taking Wittenberg, 3-2.
“It always changes things a little bit when you’re at home,” said head coach Jeremy Thornburg. “We’re a little more excited, and there’s a little more pressure, in a good way, though; you want to perform for your fans, take care of your home court.”
On Friday, Feb. 16, the Duhawks took on Mount St. Joseph who is known to have an athletic, attacking program. They came out strong, skirting by the Duhawks 25-20 in all three sets. Loras had double the errors the Lions did, but junior Dylan Ross did collect 14 kills, seven of which were in the third set, while first-year Mihajlo Gomez claimed 10 digs, his season high.
“We played a little tight … we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities when we had them, whether it was getting a dig and scoring or getting a good pass and putting the ball away,” said Thornburg. “We just didn’t take care of those little opportunities when we needed to.”
The following day, the men came out against the Wittenberg Tigers in full attacking mode. Traditionally, these matchups go to five sets, and this Saturday was no different.
“We knew it was going to be a battle because they’re similar to us in so many ways,” said Thornburg, “and it came down to who could limit errors and who could take advantage of the opportunities when they got them.”
Really playing with the lineup in this match, the Duhawks moved Ross to the outside, had first-year Joe Jendra man the right-side, and a rotation of domination in the middle. This is what fed the fresh energy for the team. Sophomore Leo Peters clocked in 13 kills and seven blocks from center-net, registering a .750 attacking average.
“I knew that we really needed to bring everything to this game,” said Peters, “so I put everything on the line and swung hard at every angle I could see.”
Peters also chipped in three service aces from the line.
“He (Peters) is one of the hardest workers in our program and for him to finally see the results is really nice to have,” said Thornburg.
Up next, the Duhawks will face Benedictine at home Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7 before hitting the road for Saturday’s match vs. Fort Wayne.
“We’re just really working on keeping our offense fast and putting up a good ball for our hitters,” said Thornburg.