Eric Purnell | The Duquesne Duke
Sept. 29 was the last time the Duquesne women’s volleyball team lost, and even more impressively, the last time the team lost more than one set in a match.
The Dukes began the month 5-0 heading into Friday night’s match against George Washington and had no plans of wavering – they defeated the Colonials 3-0.
Just minutes into the game and the first set was already over. The Dukes completely dominated George Washington by a score of 25-10. After the first set, the game looked to be a complete blowout, but head coach Steve Opperman knew it would not be as easy.
“I think that GW didn’t play very well in the first set,” Opperman said.
The second set ended in a 25-23 victory for Duquesne, however senior outside hitter Allison Foschia believed it could have gone either way.
“I think after the first set when we absolutely crushed them and showed them what’s going on, in the second set we kind of let them in,” Foschia said. “We were up four, or five and we just gave up silly points. That’s what we’ve been trying to work on the last couple weeks is just putting teams away, not allowing them to come back.”
After the close call in the second set, Opperman decided to make some adjustments in an attempt to close out the game strong, rather than letting George Washington fight their way back into it.
“We moved our lineup a little bit, to get a different matchup with our [middle hitters] on different [opposing middle hitters]. We matched up our freshman middle [Lacy Levers] with their best middle, and we matched up Arielle [Love] with their smaller middle, thinking that we could put a couple more balls past her and that kind of worked out for us,” Opperman said.
That adjustment worked. The Dukes rolled in the third set, winning 25-16.
Although junior middle hitter Arielle Love’s return to the lineup from an ankle injury helped, Opperman and his team were very happy with the overall performance as a whole, and felt the whole team played well as a vital key to their recent run of success.
“Each set it was different kids that were putting balls away. That kind of kept George Washington on their toes a little bit,” Opperman said. “[We] had a good balanced effort from the whole team.”
The Dukes have not just been winning this October – they have been winning big. After beating down George Washington on Friday and defeating Dayton the following night 3-1, the Dukes record for sets on the season has improved to an astonishing 21-5.
Opperman said that setting the ball has been a major success for the team, and especially for sophomore setter Mary Henry.
The Dukes’ will next take on George Mason on Nov. 1 at the A.J. Palumbo Center.