Chicago, IL - Despite a strong second set showing by the IPFW Mastodons, the 12th ranked Loyola Ramblers maintained their unblemished conference mark, downing the 'Dons in four sets, 24-30, 30-27, 12-30, 24-30.
The first set opened in favor of the Ramblers as they jumped out to an early 6-2 lead. The early lead would grow to as many as seven at 13-6. With the score at 17-13, IPFW mounted an impressive six-point rally to take the lead at 19-17. Almost immediately, though, the Ramblers rebounded, ripping away the lead at 21-20 and taking nine of the next 13 points to take the first set victory, 30-24.
Senior middle hitter Oliver Kook paced the IPFW offense in the opening set with three kills and a pair of blocks.
Following the cue of their senior leader, IPFW opened the second set strong, taking an early 10-7 lead. The blue and white would hold that lead until deep into the set, when a brief hiccup turned the advantage back over to the Ramblers at 24-23.
A Loyola attack error and frontline stuff by Kook and Ivan Matos gave IPFW their final lead at 26-25 before closing out the second set victory with a kill by Kook.
Kook's hot hand continued in the second stanza, as he posted an impressive seven kills to go along with a service ace.
The third set, simply put, was all Loyola. The Ramblers and Mastodons fought neck-and-neck at the opening of the set, with the dust eventually settling on a 10-7 Rambler lead. From there, Loyola rattled off 20 of the next 25 points, cruising to a commanding 30-12 third set victory.
The Loyola confidence carried over into the fourth set as well. The Ramblers took their final lead at 13-12 and never looked back, holding the lead through the end of the set and match en route to a 30-24 victory in the third set.