Duhawks break even in Decatur, Illinois lose IIAC finale
Wed, Oct. 30, 2013 - [Women's Volleyball]

BY Alison Brennan & Loras Sports Information


The Loras College volleyball team traveled to Decatur, Illinois over the weekend competing in host Milikin's invitational.  The Duhawks split two matches both days, ending 2-2 overall.  


The weekend started Friday with a win over Albion (25-12, 22-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-11).  Danielle Kennedy, Tara Blake, and Kara Grant led the Duhawks in kills each with 11 and Liz Jendra followed with six.  Defensively, Christa Winders (28), Courtney Boyd (14), Shawn Rielly (12) and Blake (11) led the team in digs. 


Although coming off the win over Albion, the Duhawks lost a 5 set battle to Transylvania (15-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 10-15). Tara Blake led the Duhawks in kills with 14 with Liz Jendra (9), Kara Grant (8) and Danielle Kennedy (6) right behind.  Shawn Rielly assisted 40 of the 46 total kills.  Christa Winders was the defensive leader with 28 digs, followed by Blake with 20, Rielly with 11 and Kennedy with 9.  Jendra, Grant and Kennedy also led the team with five blocks. 


Saturday, the Duhawks competed against the host Millikin losing 3-1 (26-24, 6-25, 17-25, 15-25).  Tara Blake led the team in kills with 8 while Megan Beauchamp, Danielle Kennedy, and Kara Grant each offered 4 kills.  Shawn Rielly assisted with 20 sets while Christa Winders (12), Blake (10) and Rielly (8) each worked defensively digging Millikin's hits. 


The Duhawks bounced back to beat Blackburn in three sets (25-10, 25-16, 25-20) to finish off the weekend.  Christina Angeli led the Duhawks with 7 kills and 7 aces with Kat Thuestad following with 5 kills.  Jenna Erickson had 13 assists and 8 digs alongside Micaela Mertens with 11 digs. 


Loras moved to 14-15 overall ahead of the regular season finale.


Central, 3

Loras, 1

(25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16)


After battling Buena Vista University and finishing 2-2 over the weekend, Loras faced Central College on Tuesday, October 29th in the regular season finale. Although each of the first three sets was closely contested, the Duhawks dropped the match 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16).


The Duhawks battled back after dropping the first set and traded punches with the Dutch in the second.  Central led the set 20-16 during Loras' first timeout then the Duhawks started to make a comeback coming within 1 point of the Dutch. The visitors held off the rally to win the set. Loras led the third set until the Dutch scored three in a row to tie it at 17-17.  Firing back, the Duhawks then took the lead again to win the set 25-20.  Loras was unable to get into any rhythm in the final set of the night as the Dutch pulled away midway through the frame to make win by nine points, and 3-1 to take the match.


Kara Grant led the offense with 10 kills with Tara Blake following with 7. Shawn Rielly tallied 24 assists while Christa Winders defensively saved 22 of the Dutch attacks as Christina Angeli had 14 digs. 


Loras moves to 14-16 overall and 4-3 in the IIAC.  The Duhawks will play in the first round of the IIAC Tournament on Tuesday, November 5th at home.  Their opponent will be determined tonight when Iowa Conference regular season action concludes.