The Loras College men’s volleyball team had a successful weekend this past week, bouncing back from a 0-3 loss against Fontbonne University to three victories taking down Illinois Tech, Viterbo University, and Maranatha Baptist University. The team even managed not to drop a single set during the weekend.
“I think that we felt confident after a tough week of practice and coming off a hard loss,” said sophomore outside hitter Mihajlo Gomez. “We knew we had to get back on track and get a win streak going again.”
That’s exactly what the team did, improving their overall record to 14-4. Senior right-side hitter Leo Peters lead the team with 14 kills in the Illinois Tech match, while junior libero Joe Berka tallied nine digs, and junior middle blocker Ian Walsh added four blocks.
Senior setter Alfredo Lopez totaled 36 assists and as a team, held the Scarlet Hawks out of reach of the match in all three sets. After topping IIT in Chicago, Illinois, the team then moved on to Watertown, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 9, for a triangular against Viterbo University and Maranatha Baptist University.
“[I’m] really happy with how we played,” said Berka. “We played cohesive and played off each other’s energy. Our middles played out of their minds and our setters were feeding the ‘hot hand’ which lead to us being successful.”
The team was so successful that the statistics from the games Saturday are well spread throughout the entire team. The starters took care of business in the first set, while the rest of the team was able to go sub one of the starters out.
“We just played very clean volleyball,” said Gomez. “We had the opportunity to play everyone on the bench; it was a whole team thing this weekend. It shows how much work all the guys put in day in, day out. Some of the hardest workers don’t get credit and it was cool to see those guys play.”
Topping off Viterbo University and Maranatha Baptist, Gomez closed the weekend road trip with a team best of nine service aces. The three-set sweeps acquired this past weekend are the momentum the team needs to take down conference match-ups Olivet College and Adrian College this Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16. The team also has a non-conference match-up against North Park on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“Looking forward to another week of tough practice, our next four games are all conference games so we really need to prepare and get some wins,” said Gomez.