Despite a small setback with two losses in their most recent matches, the women’s volleyball team is more motivated than ever to dig into conference play. Last week, the Duhawks played two away matches against Coe and Cornell.
The first of their games last week had the team facing the Kohawks, an Iowa Conference competitor. Loras made a comeback by tallying seven of the last eight points in the first set, making it 25-21. The Duhawks mirrored this score in set two, again using a late rally to pull ahead. Unfortunately, Coe exhibited the biggest rally of the night by winning the final three sets and the match.
On Thursday, Loras traveled to Mount Vernon, IA to take on the Rams. Cornell had an advantage in winning the first two sets, but Loras came back in the third. Despite halting their momentum, the Rams managed to top the Duhawks in the fourth set and win 3-1.
Even though Loras fell in its last two matches, the Duhawks’ mindset have only gotten sharper.
“We’ve had some tough matches this season, but we’re not hanging our heads. We’re actually more motivated to get on the court each game to prove the culture and competitiveness of Loras volleyball,” said senior Therese Schultz.
In order to make their way to the top of the conference, the team will have to work together as a unit. Fortunately, that should be an easy task for this group of Duhawks as they have bonded well in the beginning weeks of the season.
“One of the best parts about this team is that we are a family — the returners are constantly learning from the first-years and the first-years are learning from the returners. We’re all excited for this season because we know we have the skill and mindset to compete,” Schultz said.
More importantly, in a short time span the team has been able to recognize each other’s individual strengths and determine how those can be used toward a team performance. Schultz explained that each member of the team knows her role and what needs to be done to contribute to overall success. The reason the Duhawks are so prepared is because this dedication and competitive nature began back in the offseason.
Along with knowing their strengths, the team is also able to identify areas that need improvement. Specifically, Schultz mentioned that effective execution is something they are working on.
“We need to continue focusing into every individual match and understand that each match counts. We also have to better every ball on our side of the court – both defensively and offensively, and then everything eventually comes together. We’ve been working on executing balls right away to avoid other teams getting on runs,” she said.
The Duhawks have the perfect upcoming opportunity to work on this development. This weekend Loras volleyball will travel to Waverly, IA for the IIAC-NACC Crossover Challenge. In this two-day tournament, Iowa Conference schools will face those of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. Particularly, the Duhawks will face Edgewood, Dominican, Lakeland and Concordia WI.
Upon their return from the tournament, conference season will be in full swing as the Duhawks taken on five IIAC teams both at home and on the road. The Duhawks will look to improve on their 5-6 record as their season is just getting started.