Feb. 16, 2013
CHICAGO – The Ramblers ended their five-game win streak on Saturday night, falling to No. 14 Lewis, 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 21-25). Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) led Loyola’s attack, hitting .357 on the night while Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.) posted six total blocks. Peter Jasaitis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Diego Rodriguez (Oak Park, Ill.) and Jaeschke each tallied seven digs.
The teams battled back-and-forth at the start of the first set with Lewis taking a slim one-point lead over the Ramblers. Kills by Nicholas Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) and Smalzer and a block from Daliege and Jaeschke gave Loyola three unanswered points helping the Ramblers to a 10-8 advantage. Loyola continued to hold onto the lead with kills from Smalzer and Cody Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) powering the offense. Consecutive errors by the Ramblers, however, allowed Lewis to close in and tie the game 19-all. The momentum was enough to help the Flyers take the first set, 25-21.
Lewis opened set two jumping to a 3-0 lead, but immediately gave it up as the Ramblers took advantage of consecutive attack errors to tie the game three-all. A Jaeschke kill followed by a service ace from Smalzer gave Loyola a 6-4 lead before Lewis began a 7-2 run to force a Rambler timeout. Loyola worked to regain control, finding its way back to the front behind a trio of kills to lead the Flyers, 18-17. The second frame remained close as the teams traded the lead, but it was Loyola who took the final point, 25-23.
Riding momentum from the second set, the Ramblers opened game three with a 2-1 advantage powered by kills from Smalzer and Trevor Novotny (Waukesha, Wis.). Lewis quickly answered establishing a commanding 12-7 lead as Loyola signaled a timeout. Plagued by errors, the Ramblers would continue to trail, 23-14. A Smalzer kill sparked a late 4-0 run to put Loyola back into the game, 23-18, however, it was not enough as Lewis took the third set.
In the final set, the teams continued to play a close game early on, as Loyola stayed within two points of the Flyers. A 7-0 run late in the game pushed Lewis to a 20-11 lead, but the Ramblers refused to give up, scoring four unanswered points to trail 23-17. Consecutive kills by Jaeschke and a kill from Smalzer denied the Flyers three set points, until a final kill allowed Lewis to close the match, 25-21.
The Ramblers continue a five-game homestand on Wednesday, Feb. 20, when they host conference opponent IPFW. First serve is set for 7 p.m.