Feb. 23, 2013
CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago men's volleyball swept Ball State on Saturday night (25-21, 25-23, 25-20), improving to 3-2 in conference play. Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) led the floor with 16 kills while Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.) followed closely with 13. Peter Hutz (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) had a break out night, collecting 34 assists, eight digs and three block assists.
The teams battled back-and-forth at the start of the first set with Loyola edging the Cardinals, 7-5. Ball State errors allowed the Ramblers to extend their lead with a kill by Jaeschke giving his team a 13-9 advantage. The Cardinals rebounded with a trio of kills, staying within one point of Loyola until late in the set. Smalzer and Nicholas Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) teamed up for a block to hold off Ball State, 23-20 as Smalzer closed the frame with a kill and service ace to give Loyola the 25-21 win.
The score remained tight throughout much of the second frame with the teams tying the game eight times before Ball State found momentum. A 4-0 run by the Cardinals put the team ahead 11-15 as Loyola took its first timeout. The Ramblers quickly regrouped and Jaeschke powered away six kills to send Loyola on a 9-2 run to come from behind, 24-21. Olson nabbed the final kill as the Ramblers took the second set, 25-23.
Loyola was able to overcome Ball State's block in the final set, hitting .414 in the third frame. The teams swapped the lead multiple times early on with Ball State scoring three unanswered points to take the lead, 10-9, and force a Loyola timeout. The Ramblers stayed within one point of the Cardinals until a block by Hutz and Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.) followed by a Jaeschke kill put Loyola out front, 20-18. Costly errors by the Cardinals allowed Loyola to improve its advantage as the Ramblers closed the night, 25-20.
Loyola takes the week off before traveling to Columbus, Ohio where it will take on Ohio State on Friday, March 1. First serve is set for 6 p.m CST.