Jan. 16, 2013
CHICAGO – The Ramblers won their second consecutive match and remain undefeated at home this season after defeating Carthage on Wednesday night, 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-22). Now 2-3 overall, Loyola will carry momentum into the weekend as the team heads to the East Coast for a three-game road swing.
Loyola posted a season-high .392 hitting percentage against the Red Men, holding Carthage to .099 on the night. Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.) continued to lead the attack, putting away 14 kills. Diego Rodriguez (Oak Park, Ill.) dished out 36 assists, receiving help from Peter Jasaitis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) who tallied 12 digs. The Ramblers collected a season-high nine service aces, led by Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) and Smalzer who each had three.
The Ramblers got off to a quick start, taking a four-point lead after back-to-back kills by Jaeschke put Loyola out front 7-3. An error by the Red Men followed by a kill from Daliege led to a Carthage timeout as the team looked to regroup.
Nicholas Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) and Rodriguez teamed up for a block as play resumed, extending Loyola’s lead, 10-4. The Ramblers remained in control and a kill by Jaeschke closed the first set, 25-15.
It was a similar start to the second frame as Dainis Berzins (Brinklow, Md.) pounded a kill to start a 7-1 run by the Ramblers. Another kill by Berzins and an attack error on Carthage gave Loyola an 11-5 lead, initiating a timeout by the Red Men.
The brief break temporarily stopped the Ramblers, but a battle at the net led by James Zaluski (Morrisville, Pa.) allowed Loyola to regain its composure. Zaluski made back-to-back blocks with help from Smalzer and Jaeschke to give the Ramblers a five-point lead, 15-10. A final kill by Smalzer and block by Berzins and Daliege sealed the second set for Loyola, 25-14.
The Red Men opened the third set, determined to outlast the Ramblers. A trio of kills by Carthage put Loyola behind early, 5-3. Consecutive service aces by Berzins proved to be the game changer as the outside hitter put the Ramblers back out front, 7-5. Loyola would hold on to the lead throughout the final set, fighting off a late 5-1 run by Carthage. Smalzer put away a kill to close the game, helping his team to its second win in the 2013 campaign.
The Ramblers hit the road on Thursday, traveling East to St. Francis (Pa.) where they will take on the Red Flash on Friday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. CST. Loyola makes a quick turnaround, heading to Fairfax, Va. to play George Mason on Saturday, Jan. 19.