Loyola defeated North Central, 3-0, in its lone exhibition match of the preseason. The straight-sets victory saw LUC edge the Cardinals by scores of 25-13, 25-15, 25-19.
How It Happened
The Ramblers picked up the first two points of the match and never trailed the rest of the way. An efficient .455 first set team attack percentage allowed them to post runs of 3-0 and 5-0 to jump out ahead, 15-8. After NCC's second timeout, LUC mixed in two more runs of the exact same sequences, this time the 5-0 hot streak finishing the set that inked the 25-13 win.
Loyola picked up where it left off with a 6-0 run to begin the middle stanza. The consecutive point streak totaled 11 over the course of the first and second frames. After North Central got on the board at the 6-1 mark, the Ramblers took off for a 3-0 run that put them ahead and in charge at 9-2. Overall the Ramblers tallied three runs of 4-0 or greater, and cruised to a 25-15 win that put them up 2 sets to 0.
Looking to finish the job in three, the Maroon and Gold maintained the steady pace to take command of the third set. An early 3-0 run put LUC ahead 5-1 and they followed that up with a 4-0 run to go up 10-3 – a seven-point lead that was tied for its second highest of the set. The Cardinals cut the deficit to four at the 20-16 mark, but the Ramblers put their foot on the gas pedal and brought the lead back to seven on two separate occasions (23-26, 24-17) before finishing off the match with a 25-19 set three win.
A Look at the Numbers
-The Ramblers did not allow the Cardinals to reach the 20-point mark in any of the three sets, holding them to 13, 15 and 19 over the course of the victory.
-Loyola finished with a .455 team attack percentage and held NCC to -.018. The second set was Loyola's most efficient at .524.
-The block department was a close race throughout the match. Loyola edged NCC with eight team stoppers compared to its opponents' 7.5.
-Overall the Ramblers compiled 55.0 team points, divided up through 40 kills, seven aces and eight team blocks.
The Maroon and Gold turn their attention to the regular season that begins on Jan. 4. The No. 4-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters represent the first opponent on the docket, a 7 p.m. tilt at Gentile Arena.