March 15, 2013
CHICAGO – Loyola University Chicago defeated Saint Francis on Friday night in three straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-22). Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.) led the floor with 12 kills while Peter Jasaitis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) notched 10 digs. The Ramblers held the Red Flash to .097 hitting on the night as Cody Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Danny Podkowa (Glenview, Ill.) each collected four total blocks.
The Ramblers immediately jumped to the lead as Caldwell led a 5-1 run early in the first set. A kill and consecutive service aces from Caldwell followed by a block from Dainis Berzins (Brinklow, Md.) and Nicholas Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) put Loyola out front, 11-7. Saint Francis slowly chipped away at the lead, coming within two points and forcing a Loyola timeout with the Ramblers leading 18-16. However, back-to-back kills by Olson and an ace from Berzins reaffirmed Loyola’s lead, 23-17. A Smalzer kill delivered Loyola its first set point and a Red Flash error gave the first frame to the Ramblers, 25-19.
Blocking proved to a major factor in the second frame as Loyola posted seven team blocks to hold the Red Flash at a -.069 hitting percentage. With the game tied at seven, a trio of blocks from Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.), Caldwell and Smalzer followed by Peter Hutz’ (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) first career service ace catapulted the Ramblers ahead 12-7. Saint Francis worked its way within two before Loyola scored three unanswered points to pull ahead 20-15. The Red Flash answered with consecutive points to trail, 20-18, but it was Loyola who finished strong with a 5-0 run initiated by a kill from Smalzer. A final block by Podkowa and Trevor Novotny (Waukesha, Wis.) concluded the set, 25-18.
Olson opened the third frame for Loyola posting a kill and teaming up with Novotny to give the Ramblers a 4-1 lead. The Ramblers took advantage of Saint Francis errors before going on a 5-0 run, fueled by Novotny and consecutive service aces from Caldwell, to lead 16-7. The Red Flash attempted to recover, briefly stalling the Ramblers and forcing a timeout as Loyola held a slim 22-20 lead. A kill by Podkowa earned Loyola its final set point and Caldwell blasted a final kill to complete the 3-0 sweep over Saint Francis, 25-22.
Loyola is back in action on Monday, March 18, when it hosts Princeton in another non-conference match. First serve is set for 7 p.m.