The men’s volleyball team has been busy on the road with tough opponents, with three of the five matches played for conference positions.
The Duhawks traveled to Milwaukee to take on MSOE for the second time this season. Like the first time, MSOE took the match in three straight sets. This was not achieved without resilience from the Duhawk men, however. In set one, the Duhawks pushed for a 7-6 advantage, and in the third set they came back to bring the match to 11-all. Sophomore Alfredo Lopez gave the Raiders a run for their money as well, posting four kills, 13 assists, seven digs, and one service ace. Still, the 10-2 Raiders turned out to be too much for the Duhawks, pushing Loras to 4-7 in the conference.
The next day, Duhawk volleyball headed north to take on their toughest matchups of the season. These matchups came in the form of No. 8 Carthage and No. 12 Rivier. Undefeated in conference play, Carthage continued their trend by downing the Duhawks in three sets. The men showed promise in set two, leading at the midway point and forcing the Red Men to a timeout. However, Carthage’s 9-4 run after the timeout overcame the Duhawks.
The second game of the day against No. 12 Rivier was a better outing by the Duhawks, but it still resulted in a loss. After Rivier took the first set, despite a comeback from Loras, the men took set two in nail-biting fashion. Set three went to the Raiders, bringing up an important fourth set. With the set tied at 21-all, Rivier pulled out a devastating 4-1 run that ended the Duhawks’ hopes and brought the match to a 3-1 close.
The day was not without its outstanding performances. Sophomore Leo Peters posted four kills, adding two digs and a block in three sets against Carthage. Junior Dylan Ross continued to excel for the Loras men as he posted 12 kills, six digs and a .300 attack percentage in the close match against Rivier. The day trip brought the Duhawks to 6-10 overall, 4-8 in the conference.
After a few days’ rest, the Duhawks traveled to Cedar Rapids to take on Mount Mercy in a non-conference matchup. The tide finally turned for the Loras men, as it dropped Mount Mercy, 3-1. The men looked to be in peak form as they took sets one and two with absolute ease. An early lead in the third set was the high point for Mount Mercy, earning them a victory in that set. Loras got back on track in the fourth set, however, with a dominating 25-12 performance. Sophomore Greg Kinney led the Duhawks on offence with 11 kills while hitting .250. First-year Joe Berka shined as well, collecting eight digs in his second start.
The Duhawks rounded up their string of road games with a visit to Fond du Lac, taking on inner-conference team Marian. Despite matching conference records, the Sabres swept the Duhawks in three sets. It was the early leads from Marian that paved the way to their victory, with Loras failing to get ahead at any point during the match. Junior Dylan Ross had eight kills, seven digs and a .240 attack in an effort to overtake the Sabres. The loss brought the Duhawks to 4-9 in the conference, with an overall record of 7-11.
The Duhawks return home for the first time in nearly a month as they take on Adrian this Friday as well as Lakeland on Saturday.