Loyola began the weekend with a straight-sets win against University of Mount Olive in Bristol, Tenn. As a team, the Ramblers hit .455 and held UMO to -.093.
Coach Hulse's Thoughts
"It was a great team win," head coach Mark Hulse
said. "We were able to put a ton of pressure on them, both through our serve and by getting a bunch of our guys going offensively."
How It Happened
Mount Olive took an early 3-1 lead to allow them to control the tempo early in the first set. The sudden deficit forced the Ramblers to get to work, beginning with a 3-0 run highlighted by a kill and an ace from Will Tischler
at the 6-6 mark. Mount Olive rang up a 3-0 run of their own to equalize the score at 10-10, but it was all Ramblers after that. LUC claimed 15 of the next 19 points to win the first set convincingly, 25-14.
In a similar manner to the opening set, the middle frame saw Mount Olive as the team to grab the early lead. However, the 5-3 lead was brief and ended up being UMO's largest of the set. Tischler led another 3-0 run with a kill and an ace that gave the Ramblers the lead. Mount Olive momentarily had the lead again at 7-6 until the Ramblers blew the doors off the Trojans the rest of the way. A 7-0 run turned into a 13-2 sequence in favor of the Maroon and Gold that included five kills, two blocks and an ace from the Ramblers. The 16-8 LUC lead turned into 16-11 after a 3-0 Trojan run, but Loyola finished strong again with a 9-2 run down the stretch – winning by an even wider margin at 25-13.
The Trojans hung tough in the early stages of the third frame yet again, but a Kyle Piekarski
spike off a block evened the score at 6-6 and set the tone the rest of the way. The Ramblers benefited from a pair of Trojan attack errors to create some separation in the score, extending their lead to 15-9 on a Collin Mahan
ace – the eighth of the evening for Loyola. Piekarski notched his first solo block of the season to put Loyola up 19-11, and pave the way for the eventual 25-15 third set win in the straight-sets victory.
A Look at the Numbers
eclipsed 800 career kills on Friday night. His seven against the Trojans puts him at 802 total.
-Loyola logged a .455 attack percentage as a team. That's the highest average since Feb. 4, 2017 when the team hit .463 vs. Quincy.
-Freshman Luke Denton
notched 11 kills for his first double-digit kill match of his collegiate career.
-The win was Loyola's 10th
against a Conference Carolinas opponent in as many matches.
Loyola wraps up the weekend with its first true road match of the season tomorrow (Jan. 12) against the defending Conference Carolinas champion King University. First serve for the Saturday night tilt is set for 7 p.m. CT.