Knights take IIAC Tournament title
PHOTO COURTESY: Jim Naprstek - The Lorian
PHOTO COURTESY: Jim Naprstek - The Lorian
Sun, Nov. 7, 2010 - [Women's Volleyball]

The Loras College volleyball team had their season come to abrupt and painful end on Saturday afternoon in the Athletic and Wellness Center.

The Duhawks, who went 7-1 in IIAC regular season play - including wins over both of their 2010 IIAC tournament opponents - stumbled after taking a 2-0 lead on the Wartburg College Knights and eventually lost 3-2 to a visiting team that improved more and more as the match progressed.

Loras opened the match with a steady -handed 25-21 win to claim the early lead and used that momentum to jump to an early 5-2 lead in set number two. The second set would eventually be tied at 10-10, 13-13, 17-17, 21-21, and 24-24 before the Duhawks took the set 26-24. Kenzie Goedken scored point number 25 and served set point - which the Knights hit out of bounds.

Wartburg set the tone for early in set number three, holding leads of 3-0 and 13-4 taking the first step to climb back into the match at 2-1 with a convincing 25-16 win.

Another early lead by the Knights in set number four forced Loras to play catch-up throughout the set and use an early timeout. Loras trailed 20-16 when a long point went to the Knights to extend their late lead in the set to five points. Loras would score two more points on their way to a tied match a 2-2.

The Knights pushed to an early lead in set number five as well, holding a 6-3 lead when Loras called their first timeout. Often times alternating points, Loras was able to rally late to reach double-digits on the scoreboard, but the always-quick fifth set finished 15-12 in favor of the nights, earning them their third IIAC Tournament title and the IIAC's NCAA Division III Championships.

Goedken earned a Loras-high 15 kills. Kate Russell and Regan Riley each posted nine and Brittney Westermeyer tallied eight. Five Knights reached double-digits in kills, led by Britlyn Sieck's 19. Sieck committed just one error in 43 attempts. Loras hit .142 on the day.

Loras did not earn an at-large bid to the championships and finished 2010 with a 26-9 overall record. They won the regular season championship after going 7-1. Four Duhawks were named to the All-Conference team - including league MVP Kate Russell, Brittney Westermeyer, Julie Rogers, and Regan Riley.

The Duhawks bid farewell to five seniors. Kayla Kehrli, Julianne Lord, Rachael Heiar, Kate Russell, and Morgan Muphy each played their final games in Loras uniforms on their home floor and won two IIAC championships and were a part of the first Loras team to earn a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.