CHICAGO (April 28, 2010) – The 15th-ranked Loyola University Chicago men’s volleyball team defeated Lewis, 3-0 (30-26, 30-23, 30-18), on Wednesday night (April 28) in Alumni Gym to advance to the MIVA Championship match. Mike Bunting, George Kamberos and Kris Berzins each hit double digits in the kill column to lead the No. 2 seed Ramblers (20-5) past the No. 3 seed Flyers (19-10).
“I was glad to see our guys executing out there tonight,” said Loyola head coach Shane Davis. “It was good to see them get into a rhythm, especially since we’ve only been playing with this lineup for about a week and a half. We’ll use the momentum from tonight and get ready for the championship match this weekend.”
Three Loyola errors helped Lewis take an early 4-2 lead in the first set, but the Ramblers responded by earning four of the next five points to jump in front at 6-5. A few points later, the Flyers took four in a row to move back in front at 11-7. Loyola began to chip away, however, coming within one at 15-14 before Lewis extended its lead back to four at 19-15 after three straight kills. The teams went back and forth until two of Bunting’s eight first-set kills spurred a 5-2 Loyola swing to put the hosts in front at 24-23. The sides swapped points until the teams were tied at 26 apiece, but three Lewis errors and another Bunting kill helped the Ramblers close out the first set and take a 1-0 lead.
Loyola came out firing in the second set, opening the frame with an 8-3 run after two Bunting kills and a Berzins service ace. The Ramblers extended their lead to nine at 15-6 and again at 19-10 before Lewis took five out of the next six to come within five at 20-15. Loyola was able to hold off the visitors, however, using four kills from Berzins and three from Kamberos to put the Flyers away and take the second set.
A Steve Thompson ace and a Kamberos kill helped give Loyola a 4-2 advantage early on in the third set. The Ramblers held a slight lead for the next several points until two kills and an ace from Bunting fueled a 5-0 Loyola run to push the hosts’ lead to six at 14-8. After the teams went back and forth for the next few points, two Kamberos kills helped the Ramblers put together a 4-0 run to push their lead to nine at 22-13. Loyola would remain in the driver’s seat for the rest of the set, closing the match on two Thompson kills.
Bunting finished with a match-high 15 kills, while Kamberos and Berzins each tallied 11 in the win. Ian Karbiener led Lewis with 14 kills.
The Ramblers travel to Columbus, Ohio, this Saturday (May 1) to take on top-seeded Ohio State in the MIVA Championship. The match is set for 6 p.m. CT.