PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Loyola University men's volleyball team fell to No. 4 Stanford tonight in Palo Alto, Calif. The Cardinal downed the Ramblers in three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-11, 25-21. With the loss the Ramblers fall to 2-4 on the season while Stanford remains undefeated (3-0).
After a combination of kills, service aces, as well as a couple of Loyola attack errors, Stanford jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the first set. Slowly, the Ramblers fought their way back into the mix. With the score set at 15-22, Joseph Smalzer and Mike Bunting combined for a three-point run that helped close the gap to 17-22 and forced Stanford to take a timeout. The teams alternated the last points but Loyola could not overcome the Cardinal lead, dropping the first set 25-19.
Stanford continued a dominating performance into the second set, riding a 7-0 run straight out of the break. Despite big kills from multiple Ramblers, the team could not recover from the deficit. With help from Dainis Berzins, Loyola fought off two set points before an Eric Mochalski kill secured the set for Stanford.
The third set showed much more of the usual Rambler rhythm, countering attacks and halting early opposing momentum. A back-and-forth effort in the beginning left the game tied at 14, but Stanford found a whole and, paced by Brad Lawson, snuck in a three-point run for the lead that they would hold for the remainder of the match.
Bunting once again was an anchor for the Ramblers, posting 13 kills on the night. Smalzer added nine kills while Eric Daliege added four to the team total. Matt Mirick and Peter Jasaitis led the Ramblers on defense with six and five digs, respectively.
Loyola makes its long-awaited return next week for the home opener against Carthage. The Ramblers will battle the Red Men in the newly renovated Gentile Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7:00 p.m. CST.