CHICAGO – After dropping the first set 22-25, the Loyola men’s volleyball team went to their bench and bounced back the remainder of the match, taking sets two, three and four to win 3-1 over Lindenwood on Saturday evening at Alumni Gym.
The Ramblers, who dropped their first set of year on Saturday, moved to 4-0 in 2011 with the victory. With the loss, Lindenwood fell to 1-3.
The win also marked the 150th career win for Loyola head coach Shane Davis, who is already the program’s all-time winningest men's volleyball coach.
Reaching the milestone victory didn’t come easy for the Ramblers, as Lindenwood team came out firing on all cylinders, catching the home team by surprise early on.
Loyola jumped out 3-0 in the first set thanks to two Lindenwood errors and Mike Bunting kill. A Rambler service error gave the visitors its first point, which led to three more points, giving the Lions its first lead at 4-3. Loyola answered back quickly with a Steve Thompson kill to even the score at 5-5. After a Rambler attack error, the Lions went on a 13-9 run to take the lead again at 18-14. With the newly gained confidence, the Lions found kills from its frontline and closed out the set victorious 25-23.
In set two and from here on out, Loyola took back the match’s momentum.
The second frame featured a more aggressive and precise Rambler squad, due to a few changes in the lineup. Domenic DeWaele came off the bench and put forth a career evening, just in time for a Loyola comeback. The Ramblers pulled out to a 4-1 lead, and then added numerous kills from Joseph Smalzer, Tim Frydendall and Bunting. Although Lindenwood drew within a few points late in the set, Loyola and its new lineup finished off the set on a 4-1 run to win 25-21.
After winning set three in convincing fashion, 25-13, the Ramblers continued their fine play in the final set, earning much needed points off serves and Lindenwood errors. Not to mention, a Dewaele clinic. The junior added eight kills to his team-high 17 kills to lead Loyola to a 25-21 set four win.
Dewaele’s season high night led the Ramblers, while Bunting and Smalzer each picked up 15 kills. Mike Hutz found his rhythm early and finished the night with a season-high 49 assists.
Loyola will return to action next week when they travel to University Park, Pa., to take on No. 9 Penn State. Match time is set for 6:00 p.m. CST