Outgrowing the growing pains

 

Coming out of a lull in the middle of the season, the Duhawks are on the upswing facing the heart of their conference season.

“Every team hits growing pains,” said Coach Jenna Ness, “it just comes down to how hard and how fast you can fight through it.”

The Duhawks stretched out their growing pains against St. Benedict on Saturday, Sept. 22, trying out a fresh lineup and renewed energy. Despite the 3-1 road loss, statistically, the women showed the momentum that brought them home their next W over Iowa Wesleyan the following Tuesday.

Senior Jenna LaCorte, back home on the outside pin, posted a then career-high 17 kills against St. Benedict alongside 20 digs, her fifth double-double of the season.

The momentum gained from the battle with St. Benedict and victory over Iowa Wesleyan left the team “hungry” for more, going into last Friday’s home match against the Luther Norse.

“Every team in our conference is going to be a battle; everyone hypes up for conference matches,” said Ness.

The American Rivers Conference match was a battle as expected. A slower start allowed the visiting Norse to narrowly claim the first two sets 25-21 and 25-23, but the Duhawks answered early in the third set, claiming the next two 26-24 and 25-19. Despite LaCorte posting a fresh career-high 23 kills and junior Kelly Boge putting up four blocks, the Duhawks fell in the final set 15-9.

“You just have to battle through some growing pains and that’s what we have to do… the teams we played were really good, and that’s what it’s going to be like all year,” said Ness. “We just have to train like we’re losing and play like we’re winning.”

Finishing off the weekend on a high note though, the women surpassed the UW-River Falls Falcons on Saturday 3-1. Most notably, the Duhawks finished with 12 service aces, something the team has been working hard on since last season.

With conference matches in full swing, the Duhawks will continue their stretch at home taking on Nebraska Wesleyan on Friday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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