No. 12 Loyola Sweeps Grand Canyon

PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 2, 2010) – The 12th-ranked Loyola University Chicago men’s volleyball team defeated Grand Canyon, 3-0 (30-22, 30-21, 30-28), on Friday night (April 2) to earn its sixth straight win overall and 10th straight win in conference play. The Ramblers (18-3 overall, 10-0 MIVA) posted a .387 team hitting percentage, including .543 in the second set, to down the Antelopes (14-23, 1-9).

Three kills from Mike Bunting helped the Ramblers jump out to an 8-3 lead early on in the first set. The Antelopes responded with three straight points, but three straight LU kills gave the visitors a 13-8 lead. The teams exchanged several points before Loyola went on a 7-2 run to extend its lead to 10 at 24-14. The Ramblers never looked back, enduring a three-point GCU swing to close out the first set on top.

Multiple kills from Mike Morice and Matt Adler pushed Loyola to an 8-3 lead to open the second set, but Grand Canyon took seven of the next 11 points to cut the Ramblers’ lead to two at 12-10. LU ripped off an 8-1 run fueled by three Domenic Dewaele kills to push its lead to nine at 20-11. Loyola remained in front for the rest of the set, with kills by Bunting and Dewaele helping the Ramblers keep their distance from the Antelopes.

Back-to-back kills from Kris Berzins helped the Ramblers take another early lead in the third set, jumping in front at 7-2 to open the frame.

The Antelopes earned three of the next four to cut LU’s lead to three at 8-5, but kills from Morice and Dewaele pushed it back to five at 10-5.

The teams swapped points for the next several series, with a Dewaele service ace giving Loyola a six-point lead at 19-13. GCU took four straight points to narrow the Ramblers’ lead to two at 22-20, with LU keeping a slight lead for the next few points. The Antelopes took three straight points to tie the score at 26 and tied it up again at 28 before two Grand Canyon errors gave Loyola the set and the match.

Dewaele finished the match with 19 kills, while Adler and Bunting each chipped in 10. Libero Tommy Becker added 10 digs in the win.

The Ramblers visit Ohio State next Friday (April 9) for a crucial MIVA match at 6 p.m. CT.

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