Triumphant return: After a long road stretch, Duhawks dominate at home

After three weeks on the road, the men’s volleyball team had the opportunity to play back-to-back home games. The Duhawks have played well at home and saw their homecoming as a chance to begin moving up in the standings of the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League.

photos by Natalie Droeske

The Duhawk men, riding the trend of winning at home, took advantage of their match against Adrian. The luck of the Irish was with the Duhawks on St. Patrick’s Day as they had little trouble handling Adrian, winning all three sets in commanding fashion, 25-13, 25-20 and 25-14, respectively.

The team was in attack mode from the start, hitting .424 in the match, good enough to set the single-match program record. Sophomores Greg Kinney and Leo Peters led the way to the dominating performance, combined for 15 kills during the match. Junior Blair Anderson had a notable performance as well, recording 10 kills in his first start at libero.

With the win, Loras improved to 8-11 overall, with a 5-9 record in the conference, which put the Duhawks in fifth place in the Western Division.

The Duhawks also improved to 6-2 at home when playing at home.

The Duhawks looked to keep the momentum going when conference foe Lakeland came to town. But Lakeland outplayed Loras, defeating the Duhawks, 3 sets to 1.

But Coach Jeremy Thornburg found lots to like about the Duhawks’ effort against Lakeland. Kinney posted a “double-double” on the night, posting 15 kills and recording 16 digs. With that effort, Kinney surpassed 300 digs in his college career.

Peters reached a landmark of his own as well, moving past the 100-kill mark on the season. Meanwhile, junior Dylan Ross is just one kill away from 500 for his college career.

The Duhawks recorded 46 assists, 11 more than Lakeland, suggesting good teamwork.

“If you look at the numbers, we had more kills than them,” Thornburg said. “We were really good from reception. We just didn’t execute at the critical times that we needed to.”

With the loss, Loras falls to 8-12 overall, and in the 5-10 conference.

Up next for the Duhawks is a trip to Naperville, IL, where they will take on North Central, which has an 11-6 record this season.

“They are a fiery squad,” Thornburg said of North Central. “We have to be really calm and composed if we want to beat them.”

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Aaron Broege is a sports writer for The Lorian.

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