It’s impressive when a volleyball player tallies double-digit numbers in a statistical category such as kills or blocks. It’s even more impressive when she does this in more than one category.
Several Duhawks have recorded double-doubles this season, accumulating double-digit numbers in two of the following categories: kills, blocks, aces, assists and digs. This feat is an indicator of the versatility the team has this season, and it’s been a large factor in their success.
“We train a lot of our players in multiple positions, and I love the versatility our team has — within our program as well as within each line up that we’re able to run. Players are able to play multiple positions, which helps us build a lineup that we see to be most successful during the match we’re playing,” said head coach Jenna Ness.
Five Duhawks have recorded at least one double-double this season. Senior Liz Jendra and junior Danni Kennedy have one apiece for their performances in kills/digs and kills/blocks, respectively. First-year Jenna LaCorte has received two double-doubles while junior Jenna Erickson has tallied three.
Finally, first-year Claire Ritchie has achieved 10 double-doubles and five triple-doubles. Ritchie excels in kills, digs and assists. She is definitely making her mark in her first season at Loras.
As stated, the ability of these athletes to execute well in a variety of positions is a strength for this team. This versatility has helped the Duhawks improve to a 14-10 record for the season after going 3-1 over the weekend at the Tiffany Robinson Memorial Tournament in Naperville, IL.
Loras faced four skilled competitors including the No. 1-ranked Washington University-St. Louis. Coach Ness was excited about this heading into the two-day spread.
“It’ll be a fun tournament where we’re able to play good competition,” she said. “We play the No. 1-ranked team in the country this weekend, so we’re looking forward to the opportunity to compete with the best.”
Despite not going undefeated like their last tournament, the Duhawks still had a very successful weekend. The four-game stand began with a match against Purdue-North Central.
The Duhawks swept the Panthers in three sets. Loras went on to face Wash-U in their second match of the day. The game got off to a thrilling start as the Duhawks won the first set, 25-23. The team never faltered in their spirit, but unfortunately lost the next three sets, falling 3-1 to the Bears.
After the tough loss, the Duhawks rallied to round out the weekend with two straight victories. First, Loras topped North Central in four sets, and the Duhawks were led by 14 kills from LaCorte. The team continued the streak by defeating Robert Morris three sets to one.
The Duhawks have one tournament in addition to a few conference and non-conference matches remaining this season. Ness explained her hopes for the team going forward.
“We need to continue to play hard and compete at the highest level possible,” she said. “We have to play our best volleyball the remainder of the season to reach the goals that we set forth.”