This past Saturday the Loras men’s volleyball team took on the Augustana Vikings here on Lillis Court. The Duhawks toppled the Vikings in an exciting five-set thriller, 35-33, 22-25, 22-25, 28-26, and 15-13.
“Our serve-receive and defense was pretty spot on throughout the entire match, with a few hiccups here and there,” said first-year setter and right-side hitter Joe Jendra.
The energy rallied back and forth with points scored from each side. All of the sets ended with scores within three points, and with exceptions of the first and fourth sets that extended past the regulation scoring cap of 25, the teams had to win by two points. In the fifth set the Duhawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the Vikings crawled back, only losing 8-7 at the switch. Then Augustana flipped the score at 10-10 and took control of the match, forcing a 15-13 victory.
“I felt the biggest thing for us was service errors and hitting errors,” said Jendra. “We had a lot of errors during crucial points in the game.”
The Duhawks were led by Jendra with a career high of 17 kills. Senior libero Blair Anderson gave the Duhawks 16 digs, and senior setter Alfredo Lopez kept the pace with the Vikings with 53 assists. Junior middle blocker Leo Peters had three blocks.
“I thought we played hard. All of the guys really wanted to win, and I thought it really showed through the game,” said first-year outside-hitter Mihajlo Gomez.
With Augustana being a new program consisting mainly of first-years, Gomez was playing against some old teammates from Adversity, his high school club.
“Both setter Ryan Hirschel and libero Matthew Schiferl played on the club team with me. We won the boys Winter Championship in Chicago, and took second place at a big tournament in Indianapolis. Then our team ended up finishing 10th in the nation,” said Gomez.
Hirschel finished with 48 assists for the Vikings and Schiferl kept the momentum going with 19 digs. First-year outside-hitter Richard Baum added 12 kills for Augustan.
Although the Augustana men’s volleyball program is new, they have taken down some credible teams. They beat Benedictine in a five-setter, and took down the Illinois Institute of Technology in a five-set match.
The Loras College men’s volleyball team bounces back home this Friday against Carthage College at Lillis Court at 7 p.m.