Loyola 3, UCLA 1
Despite a season-high nine service aces on the night, the Loyola Ramblers fell to No. 5 UCLA in four sets on Thursday night (Jan. 31). The Maroon and Gold attack was anchored by Collin Mahan's 13 kills on .522 hitting.
Coach Hulse's Thoughts
"[UCLA] is a really good team. They have some big physical guys and played pretty well for where they're at and what they've been doing," head coach Mark Hulse said. "We're coming along, making progress and making strides with some of the stuff we're working on."
How It Happened
Loyola began the first set as well as one can ask for with a 6-0 run that featured two aces, a block and a kill. After Mahan extended the lead to 11-4 with his second of the night, UCLA's 3-0 run brought them back to within striking distance at 11-7. Loyola held a six-point lead as late as 19-13, but the Bruins caught fire and rattled off seven straight points to take the lead for the first time at 20-19. Loyola had three more leads, including 25-24, but the resilient Bruins found a way to steal the first set, 27-25.
The Ramblers began the second set in the driver's seat with leads of 6-3 and 10-5. The team got three kills each from Mahan, Luke Denton and Will Tischler to pace the Ramblers through the stanza with UCLA on their heels. After Denton made it 22-18 Ramblers, the home team took advantage of a pair of service errors to go ahead to set point. Down 24-20, the Bruins made it interesting by cutting the deficit to one, but Mahan finished the job and tied the match with his ninth kill of the night.
In the swing set, UCLA showed the first signs of separation with a 9-7 lead, but a kill from Mahan and an ace from Garrett Zolg tied it up at 9-9 and set up a 4-1 run to put Loyola up 13-11. Later on with the Ramblers up 15-13, the turning point occurred with a 5-0 UCLA run that put the Bruins ahead and in charge at 18-15. The cushion was large enough to trade points all the way to set point and take the frame, 25-21.
Mahan's ace early in set four was Loyola's eighth to tie the season-high. Tischler rang up another one to put Loyola ahead moments later at 8-7. The ensuing play featured back-and-forth action to the media timeout with Loyola holding a slim 15-13 lead. After a 3-0 run leapfrogged Loyola ahead 18-14, UCLA spent a well-used timeout that kick-started an 8-3 run that gave them the lead at 22-21. Paul Narup tied it back up with a kill, but the Bruins took control the rest of the way and blocked out the Rambler attack for the final point of the match at a 25-23 set four win.
A Look at the Numbers
-Garrett Zolg set a new career high with four service aces.
-Continuing his torrid pace of blocks, Paul Narup rang up four more (one solo) to put his season total at an even 40.
-UCLA's .407 attack percentage is the first time an opponent has hit over .400 since Jan. 13, 2018 vs. Long Beach State.
-Thursday was the first time this season Loyola served more aces than its opponent and lost.
A day off from game action on Friday gives the Ramblers an extra day to prepare for Penn State on Saturday (Feb. 2). First serve against the Nittany Lions is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will take place before the Loyola men's volleyball program's alumni match.
Long Beach State 3, Lindenwood 0
Lindenwood men's volleyball held tight with top ranked Long Beach State, but ultimately fell to Beach in three sets. The loss drops Lindenwood to 2-6 overall.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Connor Hipelius was the Lions' top point-scorer with seven kills, an ace and two blocks.
- Nick Stevenson also had seven kills while posting a .294 attack percentage.
- Libero Ben Symonds led the Lions with seven digs.
- Setter Adam Brewster notched 24 assists while recording two kills on three attempts.
- Sam Schindler had four kills on six swings without an error (.667 attack percentage).
The Lions host Alderson Broaddus and Lourdes on day three of the Lindenwood Invitational on Feb. 2 at Hyland Arena.