Dukes sweep past Fordham Rams

Eric Purnell | The Duquesne Duke

Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke Outside hitter Nora Young prepares to spike the ball back over the net in the Dukes’ 3-0 win over Fordham.
Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke
Outside hitter Nora Young prepares to spike the ball back over the net in the Dukes’ 3-0 win over Fordham.

Over the past month the Duquesne women’s volleyball team has been heating up, and it appears as if they’ve now caught fire. The Dukes have yet to lose in the month of October, and heading into the Palumbo Center on Saturday night against Fordham, it became clear that they have no plans on doing so anytime soon as they swept visiting Fordham 3-0.

Despite it being a 3-1 victory over Rhode Island, head coach Steve Opperman was not satisfied with the performance of the team the night before, so he wanted this game to be a statement for them.

“We didn’t play very well last night so we wanted to come out tonight and play Duquesne volleyball. And I thought that tonight we showed that we’re a good team.” Opperman said.

With a season high five game winning streak on the line the Dukes knew they had to come out strong and set the tone from the beginning.

Senior outside hitter Allison Foschia stressed the importance of a strong start for the team.

“This week we focused on taking it to them right away,” Foschia said. “In recent history of the last couple games we’ve been losing the first set and that just puts us in a hole that’s unnecessary.”

Staying true to their game-plan the Dukes came out strong, dominating Fordham for a 25-14 win in the first set.

“[We] needed to be the aggressive ones out on the floor,” Opperman said. “The team that is the aggressive team is the team that is going to win, and I thought we were very aggressive in everything we did from the start, like our blocking game which I thought was really good tonight.”

Statistics would confirm Opperman’s beliefs, showing 14 total team blocks for Duquesne as opposed to just two for Fordham.

The aggression that the Dukes opened up the first set with, carried over throughout the game, as Fordham never gained any momentum, and fell to Duquesne in three sets.

Another key factor in the dominating win for the Dukes, was their ability to stay calm and play their game according to sophomore setter Mary Henry.

“We played really relaxed, we played our tempo we didn’t really freak out when they get a run,” Henry said.

With their season high five game win streak ongoing, the Dukes are playing very strong volleyball and believe that the momentum they’re carrying can be very important to the team’s future success, according to Foschia.

“I think that for conference play it’s all about momentum,” Foschia said. “Once you start winning a couple you get the confidence to just keep going at them and no matter who’s on the other side of the court we come out every night and are ready to play.”

The Dukes will see if they are able to keep their win streak alive against George Washingto this Friday at 7 p.m. in the Palumbo Center.