Duhawks gear up for conference foes

The women’s volleyball team opened up their conference play on Tuesday, Sept. 24, with a match against rival Coe College Kohawks. 

This match was expected to be a battle, as both teams are expected to compete for the conference title. 

However, the Duhawks arrived ready to play and came out with an easy 25-14 win in the first set. They used their momentum to grab the second set with a similar score of 25-15.  With big swings from seniors Kelly Boge and Kayla Kinney, the Duhawks had no trouble taking those first two sets. 

However, after those two opening sets, Coe woke up and started to put up a fight. The last set was more akin to the battle everyone expected to see from these two programs. Immediately, the Kohawks stole the momentum from the Duhawks and held the lead for a majority of the game. 

After the initial shock, Loras answered back and took the lead. It was a continual back-and-forth game, with each team scoring every other point. Neither team was in the lead for more than a play. Even after a questionable call and a missed serve, Loras did not give up; they kept fighting. Finally, the Duhawks ended up taking the nail biting third set–thus winning the entire match, 3-0.

Tuesday’s match against Coe College got the Duhawks excited for the University of Dubuque Invite on Saturday, Sept. 28, where they faced both the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point teams. 

With both teams being great competitors, the Duhawks were hoping their energy from earlier in the week would carry over to these matches. 

The Duhawks definitely delivered, with 24 digs from sophomore Krystal Tranel and 40 assists from senior Jessalyn Roling. Loras defeated Oshkosh in 4 sets with a 3-1 match victory. 

The next match did not go as planned for the Duhawks, with a 3-1 fall to Stevens Point. Despite the loss, the Duhawks still put up some impressive stats with 3 blocks from Boge and 16 kills from Kinney.  

Loras is looking to advance its conference record to 2-0 on Tuesday with a game in Decorah against Luther College. Even though Luther is ranked seventh in the conference — below the Duhawks, who are ranked second ­— it still promises to be an intense matchup between these two American Rivers Conference teams.

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