Loyola Recovers From Slow Start, Bounces Grand Canyon, 3-1

CHICAGO - Mike Hutz tallied 41 assists and Eric Daliege posted a career-high 10 kills, as the Loyola University Chicago men's volleyball team picked up their second conference win of the season in a 3-1 win over Grand Canyon on Saturday evening at Alumni Gym.

Loyola wins for the second time this weekend, moving its 2011 record to 7-3 (2-0). The Antelopes fall to 5-11 and 0-1 in conference play.

Returning to the court less than 24 hours after an emotional win on Friday, the Ramblers couldn't get the bounces to go their way early on. Meanwhile, the Grand Canyon offense took advantage, moving out to a 3-0 first set lead. Loyola recovered a point later off a Tim Frydendall dagger to the middle of the court. The teams traded points the remainder of the set, and 21-18 in favor of Grand Canyon, the visitors finished with four kills to take the first set, 25-21.

In the second set, Loyola responded in a big way, showing more of an aggressive style of play than in set one. Mike Bunting and Daliege jumped started the Rambler offense with a pair of kills and the Antelopes added three attack errors to give Loyola a 7-2 lead. Taking the lead late into the frame at 23-20, Loyola found three more kills from Frydendall, Hutz and Joseph Smalzer win set two, 25-20.

The Ramblers continued to turn up the heat in the final two sets, gaining confidence off each kill and Grand Canyon errors. Despite a late Antelope run, Bunting and Frydendall fired kills to close the frame, 25-19.

In the final set, the Ramblers once again pushed out to an early lead at 7-3. The engaged offense improved the rest of the way, and with the score 15-8, Daliege managed back-to-back kills to give Loyola an 11 point lead. At match point, Grand Canyon fired one last attempt, but the attack resulted in an error, providing Loyola a 25-14 fourth set win.

For the evening, Loyola fired 48 kills, good enough for a .316 hitting percentage. Along with 10 kills, Daliege added five blocks in the match. Bunting finished with 13 kills and Smalzer nabbed 14.

The two teams will meet again in two days on Feb. 14 at Alumni Gym. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CST.

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