Loyola Pounds Grand Canyon To Advance To MIVA Semifinals

Loyola Pounds Grand Canyon To Advance To MIVA Semifinals

CHICAGO (April 24, 2010) – The 15th-ranked Loyola University Chicago men’s volleyball team used a .549 team hitting percentage to blow past Grand Canyon, 3-0 (30-17, 30-10, 30-17), in the quarterfinal round of the MIVA Tournament on Saturday night (April 24) in Alumni Gym. The No. 2 seed Ramblers (19-5) advance to the MIVA semifinals to take on crosstown rival and No. 3 seed Lewis, while the No. 7 seed Antelopes close out their season at 14-26.

“Obviously this was a big win for us,” said Loyola head coach Shane Davis. “Now that we’re in the tournament, it’s win or you’re done, so it was good to see our guys come out and get the job done tonight.”

Loyola used three Grand Canyon errors to jump out to an early 6-3 lead in the first set. Four LU service errors then helped the Antelopes climb back within two at 9-7. The teams then exchanged errors before the Ramblers went on a 7-0 run fueled by three George Kamberos kills to take an 18-9 lead. The teams went back and forth for the next few points before LU closed out the set on an 8-3 run to take a 1-0 set lead.

The teams went back and forth for the first several points of the second set, but it was all Loyola after that, as multiple kills from Mike Bunting and Steve Thompson propelled a 15-0 Rambler run early on. In front by 16 points at 20-4, LU used three kills from Bunting to cruise to a 30-10 second-set victory, its largest winning margin the season. Bunting led the Ramblers with seven kills in the set.

Two kills apiece from Mike Hutz and Kris Berzins pushed Loyola in front by an 8-3 margin early on in the third set. GCU took two of the next three points to come within four at 9-5, but a 9-2 run in favor of LU pushed the hosts’ lead up to 11 at 18-7. Back-and-forth play ensued until the Ramblers closed out the set on an 8-4 run to put the Antelopes away for good.

Bunting and Berzins led the Ramblers with 10 kills each, with Berzins adding four aces in the win.

The Ramblers host No. 3 seed Lewis next Wednesday (April 28) in the MIVA Tournament semifinals. The match is set for 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.