Jan. 5, 2013
CHICAGO - Despite battling flu-like symptoms and changes to their rotation, the tenth-ranked Ramblers fought hard to stage a comeback on Friday night against No. 15 Cal Baptist, falling to the Lancers 3-1 (18-25, 25-17, 18-25, 20-25). Freshman Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) led a set two charge, posting six kills to allow the Ramblers to hold the lead from start to finish. The Lancers battled back, however, taking the final two sets to deliver Loyola its second loss of the season.
It was a back-and-forth battle early in the first set. The teams settled into play with the Ramblers staying within one point of Cal Baptist until a 4-0 run by the Lancers extended their lead, 11-7. A timeout by Loyola stopped the run as Jaeschke pounded a kill at the return of play to keep his team within reach. Sophomore Ryan Baine (Landera Ranch, Calif.) worked to keep Loyola in the game recording six kills, but a 5-1 run by the Lancers ended set one, 25-18.
Loyola made a statement during the second set, taking the first point with a kill by Jaeschke, and never giving up its lead. Jaeschke would continue to fuel the second set charge, powering five additional kills. An attack error by Cal Baptist gave the Ramblers their largest lead of the night as Loyola pulled ahead by 11 points, 19-8. The strong showing gave Loyola its first set of the season with a final kill by Baine.
With the teams tied 1-1, Cal Baptist was determined to retake control of the match as the Ramblers had trouble halting the Lancers attack. A block by senior Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.) and Baine kept Loyola within three, but it was the closest the Ramblers could get as a kill by Guilherme Koepp immediately followed, allowing Cal Baptist to open up an 11-8 lead. Even with a strong showing by junior Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.), the Lancers were able to take set three, 25-18.
The final set was neck-and-neck with one point separating the teams until Kristopher Johnson and Levi Cabral posted back-to-back kills, giving the Lancers a 16-13 lead. A timeout by Loyola quickly followed, leading to a 3-0 run for the Ramblers initiated by a kill from Baine. In the end, it was errors that proved to be costly, as Cal Baptist would take the final set, 25-20.
Loyola continues to look for its first win in the 2013 campaign, playing host UC Santa Barbara tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. CST. The Gauchos have split their games at the ASICS Invitational, falling to UCLA in five sets, before defeating Lewis, 3-0.