Dukes sit atop the A-10 Conference after win
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 22:09
The Duquesne women’s volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 victory over the University of Charlotte in an Atlantic-10 matchup at the A.J. Palumbo Center Sunday afternoon.
The Dukes swept the injury plagued 49ers 25-8, 25-10 and 25-18. The win improves the Dukes overall record to 13-5 and 2-0 in the A-10 conference.
Coach Steve Opperman said that focus and tempo were the keys to the blowout win.
“I thought we controlled the tempo of the play,” Opperman said. “I think the team focused on [what] we needed to do and it showed on the floor.”
The first set started off rough for the Dukes, as they were down 0-2 early. After the slight miss start, the Dukes went on an 11-0 run eventually winning the set 25-8.
Opperman said that lead put the visiting 49ers on their toes.
“I thought we played well and stayed focus,” Opperman said. “We dedicated the level of play and got them out of their system.”
The second set was nearly déjà vu for the Dukes as they went on another 11-0 run after being down early to Charlotte 5-4. The Dukes cruised to a 25-10 second set win.
Senior outside hitter Sara Scheirman said that when they come together as a team, they feel unstoppable.
“Every single person on the floor has a job to do,” Scheirman said. “It just all fell in line today and we felt unstoppable.”
The dominance over Charlotte came in small doses in the third set for the Dukes. After a 0-2 start, the Dukes went back and forth with their A-10 foe for the most of the set. The 49ers cut the deficit to 20-17, but that is as close as they would get. The Dukes went on a 5-1 run to win the set 25-18.
Junior outside hitter Allison Foschia said that she was not surprised Charlotte seemed more aggressive against the Dukes in the third and final set.
“We thought we came out a little flat,” Foschia said. “We knew Charlotte was playing for their hurt teammate, but we played our game and won the set.”
With the win, the Dukes moved into a four-way tie for first place after their first two A-10 matches. The win over Charlotte also improved the Dukes to 7-0 at home. It is the second consecutive year the Dukes have started 7-0.
Both Scheirman and Foschia feel that playing at the Palumbo Center keeps them grounded and focused on the game.
“We just feel more confident when we are playing at home,” Scheirman said. “Knowing that we are doing well at home keeps us consistent.”
“Playing at home is so important,” Foschia added. “We need to get those wins every time we step on the court at home.”
The Dukes will not be able to put their undefeated record at home for quite some time as they will play the next four games on the road. Three of those games will be against A-10 conference opponents the Saint Louis, Butler and George Washington University.
The other match is a non-conference clash with the University of West Virginia of the Big 12.
The Dukes next home game will be against Temple on Friday Oct. 12 at the A.J. Palumbo Center followed by a game against La Salle that Sunday.