Dukes sweep Pittsburgh foe Robert Morris
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 23:10
The Duquesne women’s volleyball team swept Robert Morris 3-0 Tuesday evening at A.J. Palumbo Center to secure their final non-conference win of the season.
After surging to a 5-0 lead in the first set, the Dukes never looked back, responding to every Robert Morris score with multiple kills of their own.
The two teams traded points until junior outside hitter Allison Foschia recorded four straight kills to give Duquesne the first set. Sophomore middle hitter Arielle Love capitalized on all four of her total attempts, while freshman setter Mary Henry had 16 assists.
In the second set, the Dukes got off to a quick 10-3 lead, but the Colonials started to creep back. After four straight Robert Morris points, Foschia pumped the Dukes up with an aggressive kill. From there, Duquesne controlled the momentum and took the set 25-14.
Love, who was named the Atlantic-10 conference's Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Oct.15, led the team's second set performance with four kills.
“I felt loose out there. The ball control was really good,” Love said. “Tonight's performance shows our team's depth. Everyone performed.”
To sweep the match, the Dukes had to tame a third set Colonial charge. Robert Morris held a 13-9 lead before Duquesne rallied to regain momentum. When the Dukes were up 16-14, coach Steve Opperman called a timeout to talk to his team.
“I told them we needed to take better care of the ball,” Opperman said. “We were making too many mental errors.”
The Dukes listened to Opperman's advice, warding off the Colonials' persistence to win the set 25-20 and sweep the match.
Foschia, who sat out the previous two matches against Charlotte and VCU with a concussion, led the team with 18 kills and a .600 percentage. In both games she missed, the Dukes lost.
“It was nice to have Allison back. We missed her last weekend,” coach Steve Opperman said. “She takes our team to another level with her playing and leadership.”
Even though she missed games, Foschia still leads the Dukes with 282 kills. To reach 1,000 career kills, she only needs 12 more.
She accredits her team's success to their ability to pull together and give a team effort.
“I can't do anything without my teammates. As a leader, I like to be the communicator,” Foschia said. “I like that role. It's all about my teammates.”
Her teammates played exceptionally well against the Colonials. In addition to Love's 12 kills, freshman outside hitter Nora Young and Farage added six of their own. Young also recorded 10 digs. Henry ended the match with 39 assists.
As a team, the Dukes had seven blocks, 47 kills and a .488 percentage. They outscored Robert Morris 75-49 over three sets.
For Robert Morris, senior outside hitter Lindsey Monger led the squad with 15 kills. Sophomore setter Hannah Hoffman had 30 assists. Monger, sophomore libero Melissa Bograd and senior libero Andrea Catucci each recorded six digs.
With the win, the Dukes improve to 19-8 overall and 10-0 at home. This weekend, the Dukes play a pair of key conference road games at Xavier on Friday and Dayton on Saturday. Then, on Nov. 16, the A-10 Championship begins.
“It's a statement weekend and we need to perform well,” Love said. “The Dukes are back.”