Heinz time again at DuquesneSports

It's Heinz Time here again, i.e., lot of 'ketchup' needed. Duquesne's 2009 season is already underway for the Dukes' volleyball and men's and women's soccer teams. And one person wearing a red and blue uniform has already received an Atlantic 10 Conference weekly award.

First to see action was Duquesne's women's soccer team which hosted Saint Francis (PA) on Friday, August 21, 2009, four days before the first class of the fall semester. The Dukes are 1-3-0 so far.

Coach Tim Zundel's charges were 7-7-4 last season, 5-4-2 in A-10 regular season play, and made the program's first ever A-10 Championship Tournament as the sixth and final seed. The league coaches predicted DU would finish ninth this season.

The Dukes have nine freshmen on the roster for Coach Zundel's third year on the Bluff. Of the five players who have started all four games, two are freshmen, midfielder Paige Langhais and Michelle Mooren on defense. Two juniors and one complete the quintet.

Junior Samantha Kaiser leads the Dukes with two goals and four points. Classmate goaltender Gabby Morrin, the Red and Blue's lone pick on the preseason all A-10 team, has saved 11 of 18 shots, one-third of the opponents' attempts coming during Thursday's 4-0 loss at West Virginia.

The Dukes lone win was in their second game of the 2009 Duquesne Classic on Sunday, a 3-0 shutout over cross-town rival Robert Morris. The Red Flash won the season opener, 2-1, with Marshall taking the DU Classic opener, 1-0 in overtime.

Next up is Bucknell on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009, at Rooney Field beginning at 1:00 p.m. (The Bison are DU's first opponent on the gridiron Saturday evening.)

Coach Steve Opperman's volleyball team started play last weekend in the Courtyard by Marriott Invitaional at the Palumbo Center. The Dukes are 3-1, winning both games on Friday and splitting the duo Saturday. This is Coach O's 12th season with DU.

The lone loss was to Bowling Green, 3-2. The Falcons took the deciding fifth game, 15-10, for the Invitational title and a 4-0 tourney record.

Duquesne shut out (3-0 each) its previous foes, Radford, Howard and Loyola of Baltimore.

Freshman outside hitter Sara Scheirman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was named the Atlantic 10's Volleyball Rookie of the Week. Scheirman is tied for second on the team with 35 kills and 41 digs. The Mt. Lebanon HS grad recorded her first double-double of 14 kills and 13 digs in the finale with Bowling Green.

Sophomore middle-hitter Liz Homan (Celina, Ohio) and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Nicole Wright (St. Mary's, Ohio) were named to the All-Tournament team.

Wright leads the Dukes with 42 kills and five service aces. Homan has 15 blocks, junior libero Amy Palko (Imperial, Pa.) has 50 digs, with senior setter Chelsea Tillotson (Adrian, Mich.) assisting on 98 DU points.

The Dukes, which finished 15-14 last season but were just 3-10 in A-10 play, are picked to come in 7th in the 10-school competition. No preseason All A-10 team was announced.

The Dukes head to Harrisonburg, Va. this weekend for the James Madison Invitational beginning Friday at 7:00 p.m. The opponents will be Saint Francis of Loretto, Pa., Hampton, and the JMU Dukes.

Duquesne's men's soccer team opened the 2009 season on Tuesday with a 1-0 overtime victory over Niagara on Rooney Field.

Freshman Joshua Patterson (Bowie, Md.) scored the game-winning goal in the 99th minute. Junior Ben Horner (Butler, Pa.) tied a school record with eight shots. Junior goalkeeper Chris Torres (Vienna, Va.) had three saves, including a stop of the potential game-winning penalty shot in the sixth minute of overtime. The Dukes outshot the Purple Eagles, 24-7, 11-3 on balls headed to the net.

The Dukes, who were an unusual 5-10-4, 1-7-1 in league play, in 2008, were picked for ninth place in the 14-school league. No DU player was named to the 2009 preseason all-conference team.

Five starters and a total of seven players from last season's squad have moved on. One freshman, Adam Clement (Erie, Pa.), and three sophomores join an upperclassmen starting roster.

Coach Jake Ouimet is in his fourth season at the helm for Duquesne. The Dukes missed the six-team A-10 Championship Tournament the last two seasons, after six straight trips to the yearly event.

The team's next game is on Friday, September 4, 2009, against Michigan State at 5:00 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans were 13-5-2 in 2008. Former assistant Damon Rensing is in his first season as head coach, succeeding the retired Joe Baum. In 32 years, Baum had a 320-228-54 record.

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