The men’s volleyball team hosted Milwaukee School of Engineering on Tuesday night at the AWC. The Duhawks looked to avenge their Jan. 21 loss to MSOE, a match which finished as a 3-2 nail-biter in favor of the Raiders. Unfortunately for Loras, Tuesday’s contest wasn’t as close, as MSOE closed out the match in 3 sets (25-22, 25-21, 26-24). First-year Jimmy Combs hit for .636, tallying 8 kills and 3 digs in the match. First-year T.J. Esporas pitched in 7 kills and 3 digs.
The loss moves Loras to 3-12 for the season.
Even though the road this season has been rocky, the Duhawks reached a significant milestone this weekend, earning their first Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League victory of the year on Friday when they swept the Fontbonne Griffins 3-0 in St. Louis.
Led by Combs, who notched 8 kills, 4 blocks, and 2 service aces, the Duhawks outlasted the Griffins in two closely contested sets to open the match, winning 25-23, and 26-24. In the 3rd and decisive set, Loras was finally able to create some separation on the scoreboard, and sealed the match with a 25-19 win. Senior Michael Kreiser contributed 10 kills and 2 blocks, and Esporas had 9 kills.
“We fought hard and accomplished some of our major goals (against Fontbonne),” said head coach Jeremy Thornburg. “We got our first conference win, we finished sets at crucial times, and we really played together as a team.”
On Sunday, the Duhawks traveled to Cincinnati for a matchup with the 14th-ranked Mount St. Joseph Lions. After dropping the first two sets 25-20, and 25-17, Loras bounced back to take the 3rd set by a score of 25-22 and kept the match alive. The Duhawks were unable to force a 5th set, as Mount St. Joseph took the 4th set to wrap up the match with a 3-1 victory.
The Duhawks will next travel to Fort Wayne, In. to take on Coach Thornburg’s alma mater, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. Thornburg got his start in coaching at IPFW, where he was a member of hall of fame coach Arnie Ball’s staff.