Ramblers Defeat No. 7 Lewis On The Road
March 13, 2013
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Loyola University Chicago ended No. 7 Lewis' 13-game win streak on Wednesday night, defeating the Flyers on the road, 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 12-25, 27-25). Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.) led the Rambler attack with 15 kills while Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) followed with 12 kills and a team-high seven digs. Loyola held Lewis to .150 hitting on the night, posting 11.5 team blocks led by Nicholas Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) who collected six block assists.
Loyola quickly opened the first set with a kill by Dainis Berzins (Brinklow, Md.) giving the Ramblers the first point of the night. Olson and Smalzer collectively notched five kills and a block to power the Ramblers to an 8-3 lead. The Flyers responded with three unanswered points, but a kill by Jaeschke kept Loyola out front, 9-6. Both teams battled back-and-forth before a Lewis run tied the game at 14-all, forcing a Loyola timeout. At the return of play Lewis led a late rally until a quick kill by Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.) started a 3-0 run for the Ramblers, knotting the game 20-all. It was Trevor Novotny (Waukesha, Wis.) who closed the set scoring consecutive points, including a final service ace, to give Loyola the first set, 25-23.
The teams battled back-and-forth for the lead at the start of the second set, tying the game four times before Loyola began a dominating 13-3 run. Smalzer blasted consecutive kills followed by a block by Berzins to give Loyola the 13-10 advantage. Lewis briefly stalled the run, scoring one point before Berzins blasted two service aces to further fuel the Rambler rally, 22-13. A solo block from Daliege concluded the second frame, 25-16, with Loyola holding the Flyers to a -.143 hitting percentage.
It was the Flyers' turn to dominate in the third set, as Lewis immediately jumped to an 8-4 lead over the Ramblers. Back-to-back kills from Jaeschke followed by a kill from Smalzer broke up the Flyers momentum as Loyola pulled within two points, 10-8. The run was short-lived, however, with Lewis rallying to a 24-11 advantage. A Jaeschke kill held the Flyers at set point, before a final kill gave Lewis the set, 25-12.
The match came full circle in the fourth set with both teams swapping the lead until the very end. Loyola took an early 10-7 lead, with a well-distributed attack led by freshman setter Peter Hutz (Whitefish Bay, Wis.). Lewis scored three consecutive points to tie the game 10-all, but the Ramblers answered with three points of their own. Loyola continued to stay out front with Lewis staying within three until consecutive blocks by the Flyers knotted the game 19-all. The teams would tie the game six additional times, forcing multiple set points until a Smalzer kill followed by a block from Smalzer and Olson gave Loyola the win, 27-25.
The Ramblers improve to 11-8 overall this season and 4-3 in conference play. They return home on Friday, March 15 for a non-conference match against Saint Francis at 7 p.m.