FAIRFAX, Va. -
Jeff Jendryk recorded 11 kills and six blocks to lead No. 9 Loyola University Chicago to a come-from-behind, 23-25, 20-25, 26-24, 26-24, 15-13 victory over No. 11 George Mason (4-2) tonight at RAC Gym. The win is the Ramblers’ second this season over a nationally ranked foe and improves their overall record to 4-3 on the year.
How It Happened
Loyola found itself in an early 14-5 hole in the opening set before staging a nearly unprecedented rally to claim victory. Coming out of a timeout after falling into that nine-point deficit, Ben Plaisted’s kill sparked a 14-5 Rambler run that was punctuated by a Dane Leclair service ace that evened the score at 19. However, three straight kills from Jack Wilson gave the Patriots a 22-19 lead and control of the set. Loyola would get within a point, at 24-23, but Radoslav Popov finished off a 25-23 George Mason victory with a kill.
George Mason gained some separation in set two thanks to a 4-1 run that turned a tie into a 12-9 advantage for the Patriots. Loyola rallied and eventually evened the score at 19 on the second of consecutive kills from Plaisted. Much like in the opening set, George Mason responded by reeling off three unanswered tallies to grab a 22-19 advantage and went on to earn a 25-20 victory.
Another kill from Plaisted, followed by a Jendryk and Cole Murray block and a Patriots error, helped Loyola break open an 18-15 lead in the third set. George Mason trailed 22-19 but then ripped off three consecutive points, the last coming on a Langston Payne block, to tie the set at 22. Loyola would surge ahead, 24-22, before the Patriots would rally once again to even the match, but the Ramblers stayed alive in the match when Paul Narup and Murray registered back-to-back kills for a 26-24 Loyola win.
The fourth set was another nip-and-tuck battle and George Mason appeared to be on the verge of victory, serving on match point, with a 24-23 lead. Loyola worked its magic once again, as Murray recorded a kill to keep the Ramblers alive, and consecutive Patriot attack errors capped a 3-0 spurt that gave the visitors another 26-24 decision and sent the match to a fifth set.
Neither team led by more than two points in the final set and Loyola found itself staring at a 12-10 deficit before staging another epic comeback. A George Mason service error, immediately followed by an ace from Plaisted, knotted the score at 12. Wilson’s 18th kill of the night put the Patriots back on top by a point, but Loyola again closed things out with three straight points to earn the win. A GMU service error tied the set and Murray’s service ace gave the Ramblers a one-point advantage before a Patriot error provided the final margin in Loyola’s 15-13 win.
Inside The Box Score
- Jendryk hit .588 (11-1-17) in addition to recording team highs of 11 kills and six blocks.
- Narup registered nine kills, while Murray added eight stops, for the Ramblers.
- Leclair handed out a career-best 41 assists and added eight digs and two blocks in his first extended action of the season.
- George Mason received 18 kills from Wilson.
Loyola takes a week off before opening Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) action at home versus Lindenwood on February 3.