Jan. 18, 2013
CHICAGO - Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.) led a second set charge to help the Ramblers extend their three-game win streak on Friday night, posting three total blocks and earning a .778 hitting percentage to fuel a 3-0 win over St. Francis (25-16, 25-22, 25-16). Loyola overcame a ten-point deficit in the second set to sweep the Red Flash and notch its third win of the season as the team carries a 3-3 overall record into its match against George Mason tomorrow.
Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.) continues to lead the Rambler attack, posting ten kills. Diego Rodriguez (Oak Park, Ill.) led all players with 30 assists while Peter Jasaitis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) made eight digs.
Smalzer started the night putting away back-to-back kills to give Loyola a 2-1 lead. The Ramblers continued to control the first set, establishing a 20-10 lead backed by 2.5 team blocks. A final kill by Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) and an error by the Red Flash closed the set 25-16.
The teams battled closely in the second frame, staying within two points of each other. The lead would change three times before St. Francis took advantage of Rambler errors, pulling away, 11-7. A timeout allowed Loyola to regroup and Jaeschke returned to play blasting a kill to temporarily stop the Red Flash.
Trailing 19-13, Loyola refused to back down, going on a late 8-2 run capped off by a kill from Daliege to tie the match 21-21. St. Francis looked to halt Loyola, signaling a timeout, but a service ace and kill from Smalzer, followed by a kill from Jaeschke gave the Ramblers the second set, 25-22.
“Eric Daliege did a great job for us tonight taking care of the ball and blocking,” said head coach Shane Davis. “Game two we were down early, but we got some momentum at the end. Trevor Novotny came in and did a great job serving and passing for us. The team really showed a lot of character and confidence during that set, and in the end we were able to get the win.”
Fueled by their comeback, the Ramblers immediately jumped to the lead in the final set. The teams battled closely until a kill by Daliege extended Loyola’s lead, 14-10. Smalzer began a 6-0 run for Loyola, spurring the team into action and establishing a dominating 21-12 lead. The Red Flash could not muster a comeback and Loyola swept St. Francis, 25-16.
The Ramblers continue East Coast play tomorrow, Jan. 19 at George Mason. Loyola hopes to keep its streak alive, taking on the Patriots at 6 p.m. CST.