The Loras College women’s volleyball team (3-0, 3-0 A-R-C) played host to the Simpson College Storm Saturday afternoon at Lillis Court. Both the Duhawks and the Storm entered the match receiving votes in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Top 25 poll. On their Senior Day, Jackie Alberto (’21) and Kayla Tilkes (’21) helped catapult the Duhawks to their third straight win to remain undefeated after completing a three set sweep over the Storm.
Set number one kicked off with Sam Stoffregen (’23) at the service line for the Duhawks, seeing Loras earn an early 4-0 lead after a pair of errors from Simpson and back-to-back kills from juniors Lyndsi Wilgenbusch (’22) and Krystal Tranel (’22). A kill from Simpson’s Niya Harris ended the streak but the Duhawks immediately took three more back. As the set pushed forward, an eight point scoring frenzy put the Duhawks up by a wide 16-2 margin. The Storm added a few more to their score but with the score at 18-9, the Duhawks added seven to close out the set with a final score of 25-9.
Wilgenbusch and Alberto got the second set going for the Duhawks with a pair of kills to give Loras an immediate 2-0 advantage. Simpson followed by scoring three of their own to take their first lead of the day, but a block from Tranel and Alberto tied the set back at three. Jade Casper (’23) gave the Duhawks the lead once again with two kills of her own but Simpson again tied the set at 6-6 on a Megan LeMay kill. A Simpson service error gave the Duhawks the lead once more, and Loras kept the lead through the remainder of the set. With the set score at 13-9, Tilkes came in to serve and immediately made her presence known with a service ace on Simpson’s Rachel Hardwick. Two points later, it was again Tilkes who put another point on the board for Loras with another service ace, this time on Ariana Martinez. Simpson ended the five point scoring streak, scoring two back in their favor but the Duhawks responded with four more of their own, led by Casper who accounted for two of the four points of that run. A block from Wilgenbusch ended the set at 25-16 to give the Duhawks a 2-0 lead going into the third.
Simpson entered the third set a different team than the two sets prior, putting five straight points on the board to take their largest lead of the day at 5-0. A kill from the hand of Wilgenbusch stopped Simpson in their tracks, and the Duhawks immediately followed by putting seven more points up on the Storm to take an 8-5 lead. Simpson clawed their way back into the set, tying the set at 12-12 on a Duhawks attacking error. A Moira Mixan (’22) kill gave the Duhawks the lead again but the Storm continued to push on and take the lead back at 14-13. Mixan again asserted herself to tie the set back up and give the Duhawks the momentum to score three more to follow. Tranel ended the set in dominant fashion, posting the final three points of the set on a kill and back-to-back service aces to win the set 25-19 and complete the sweep over the Storm.
The Duhawks were led offensively by Casper who put up 14 kills in the match, followed by Alberto and Wilgenbusch who added 12 and eight, respectively. Mixan posted three aces on the day with Tranel and Tilkes both adding two of their own. Alberto locked down the defense, putting down six blocks while Tranel had three and Mixen recorded one.
Loras returns to action on Wednesday, March 3 as they travel to Decorah, Iowa to take the on the Luther College Norse in an American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) bout. The match is scheduled to beging at 7:30 PM.
You can keep up with the Women’s Volleyball team at duhawks..com.