CHICAGO (March 23, 2010) – Double-digit kills from three players and a season-high .484 team hitting percentage fueled the 12th-ranked Loyola University Chicago men’s volleyball team to a 3-0 (30-26, 30-23, 30-28) win over No. 15 Lewis on Tuesday night (March 23) in Alumni Gym. The Ramblers improve to 14-3 overall and 7-0 in the MIVA, while the Flyers drop to 13-7 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
Domenic Dewaele led the Ramblers with 18 kills, while Mike Bunting followed closely behind with 17. Kris Berzins turned in his third double-double of the season, posting 12 kills and 10 digs.
“This was a big win for our guys,” said Loyola head coach Shane Davis. “We’re starting to come down to the last few weeks of the season, so every conference win is crucial for us. Our guys really seemed to be clicking out there tonight.”
The teams quickly swapped several points to open the match, reaching 7-7 before either side could take more than a one-point lead. A kill from Berzins and a Lewis error gave Loyola a 9-7 lead before Lewis tied it up at nine two points later. The Ramblers then jumped in front again after a Berzins ace gave them a 13-10 lead. Loyola remained in front by the same margin for the next several series before a 5-1 run allowed the Ramblers to extend their lead to six at 28-22. The hosts then endured a 3-0 Lewis run at set point to put the Flyers away on a Bunting kill.
The second set began much like the first, as the teams traded the first several blows to open the frame. Back-to-back kills gave Lewis a 12-9 lead early on before kills from Bunting and Dewaele cut the Flyers’ lead to one at 12-11. Lewis held the lead for the next several points, but Loyola ripped off a furious 13-4 run propelled by four kills from Dewaele to close out the set. The Ramblers hit a blistering .704 (19-0-27) in the second frame.
Loyola’s momentum carried over into the third set, as the Ramblers took a 6-4 lead early on. Several Rambler errors helped Lewis tie the score at 10 before Loyola used a 6-2 run to take a 16-12 lead. The Ramblers held a slight edge for the next several series, extending their lead to six at 24-18 after another Bunting kill. Lewis then responded with a 5-1 run to cut Loyola’s lead to two at 25-23, but the Ramblers would hold off the charging Flyers, using two Bunting kills to close out the set and the match.
The Ramblers continue their busy week this Friday (March 26) against George Mason. The match is set for 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.