Men’s volleyball forges ahead, looks for consistency in upcoming matches

It will be home sweet home for the Duhawks in the coming weeks as the men’s volleyball team plays six home matches over the next three weekends. Five of the upcoming six contests will be conference matchups with one nonconference competition.

The Duhawks are entering their home stand coming off a tough 3-0 loss to Carthage. An MCVL opponent, Carthage is No. 3 in the country with a 13-1 record. Loras faced the Red Men on the road in Kenosha, WI last week.

Loras started the first set of the match by taking a 7-5 lead. Unfortunately, Carthage found their rhythm soon after and took over the game. Despite the loss, the game still featured solid performances from several Duhawks. Freshman Ryan Galvan and sophomore Dylan Ross each tallied six kills in the game. Additionally, freshman Austin Kuchenbecker recorded four blocks. Regrettably, these efforts were not enough as Loras fell to the Red Men on the road.

Even though losing is never fun, head coach Jeremy Thornburg hopes that his team can keep their heads high and focus on the games ahead. In order for Loras to move forward they need not dwell on their past games. Thornburg was adamant about this in a postgame interview after the Carthage match.

“They (the team) need to be optimistic and know that we just lost to a really good team. We can’t change everything we’ve done and go away from everything we’ve been working on just because we lost to a really good team. I think with our team’s leadership and my guidance we’ll figure that out,” he said.

It will be crucial for Loras to look ahead as they begin their six-game home stanza on Friday. So far this season, the team has accumulated a winning 3-2 record on Lillis Court in the AWC. First up, the Duhawks will face MSOE this Friday. Next weekend the team will matchup up with Marian and Lakeland. The home run will end with matches against Mount St. Joseph, Wittenberg and Ottawa the weekend of March 11.

Of these next matches, one of the most important will be against the Lakeland Muskies. The Duhawks faced Lakeland twice in their inaugural season last year, falling both times. These teams also met twice earlier this season in pre-conference action, but again the Muskies came out on top. Defeating Lakeland next Saturday would be a huge victory for Loras.

In order to find success in the remainder of the season, the Duhawks will look to each other for guidance and leadership. The team has already come a long way, but there is still a lot of matches left to play. Sophomore setter Shayne Marquez says that consistency will be the key in the future.

“We’ve shown signs of greatness in multiple games so far in addition to already having a better record than last year. Now it’s all about being more consistent and putting everything together in the rest of conference play,” Marquez said.

No matter what has happened so far this season, the Duhawks have high expectations for the weeks ahead.

“(Our goal is to) make the conference tournament and establish our culture throughout campus with all of our new members of the team,” Marquez said.

The Duhawks have the right attitude and motivation to go far this season. Their string of home games kicks off on Friday with first serve set for 7 p.m.

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