Thu, Sep. 23, 2010 - [Women's Volleyball]
The Loras College volleyball team no doubt had a tough task ahead of them when they looked at the 2010 Iowa Conference schedule. And now, with three games played and three tallies in the win column, the Duhawks have knocked off last year's winner - Simpson - and this year's preseason pick by the coaches - Wartburg - both on the road. They also defeated Luther, the other team picked to finish ahead of them at home on September 7.
On Wednesday night, the atmosphere almost felt like a post season match according to head coach Teresa Kehe.
"Every point felt like the biggest one of the night. It was a great match to be a part of," Kehe said after the five-set victory. "We stayed mentally tough throughout the night."
The Duhawks dropped the first set 25-23 but quickly took control of sets two and three with eight and four point victories. The Knights battled their way to 2-2 with a 25-19 win in the fourth.
In the end, Loras' balanced attack and serving were the difference, claiming the third set 15-12.
"We really executed what we talked about pre-game, and it paid off in an important match for us," Kehe added. "We put down five aces - the same as them - but I also felt we added a lot of other serves that didn't go down as aces but helped keep (Wartburg) from getting into their offense cleanly."
The Duhawks also out-blocked the Knights 12-9 and were on the positive side of eight Wartburg ball-handling errors.
Morgan Murphy (17) and Kate Russell (29) start the Loras offense
(Photo courtesy Jim Naprstek - Loras College)
Sophomores Brittney Westermeyer and Regan Riley each tallied 15 kills. Riley's 15 tied her career high and posted a team-high 45 attempts. Kate Russell added 12 and the trio hit .246 for the night.
"Regan played as well as she has in her two years, and with Kate and Brittney drawing a lot of attention, if she can hit like she did tonight, we'll be that much better offensively," Kehe noted.
Riley also posted a team-high 21 digs - also matching a career high.
Setters Kaity Frost and Julie Rogers added 26 and 21 assists, respectively.
Loras will host Buena Vista (5-7, 1-1) on Tuesday night in the AWC at 7:30 PM before hosting the 2010 Border Battle on October 1-2. The Duhawks will play four times beginning at 2:00 PM October 1. Central and Cornell, the two other remaining unbeaten teams in the league, wait at the end of the schedule, no fewer than 14 games down the road.