Ben Plaisted recorded 16 kills, one shy of his season high, to lead No. 10 Loyola University Chicago to a 25-15, 29-27, 25-20 victory over McKendree (7-16, 2-8 MIVA) this afternoon at Gentile Arena. With the win, the Ramblers improved to 12-8 overall and 7-4 in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association action. Loyola has now won 41 consecutive home matches versus unranked teams.
How It Happened
Plaisted got the Ramblers started in the first set, registering four the team’s first five points thanks to three service aces and a kill as part of a match-opening 5-1 spurt. The junior opposite would add three more kills as Loyola opened up an 11-4 lead and never looked back en route to a 25-15 victory. Plaisted finished the opening set with six kills on seven swings, to go with three aces.
Loyola didn’t have an answer for the Bearcats’ Maalik Walker in the second set as he tallied six kills, three aces and two blocks. McKendree jumped out to a 14-9 lead and led 17-12 before the Ramblers mounted a final rally. A Plaisted kill, followed by another from Cole Murray, capped a 9-2 run that gave Loyola a 22-20 advantage. McKendree would charge back and even the score at 24 and then the teams would exchange points until a kill from Murray and a Bearcats error finished off a 29-27 Loyola victory.
The Ramblers raced out of the starting blocks to an 8-4 lead in set three thanks in part to five McKendree errors. After the Bearcats trimmed their deficit to 12-10, Loyola recorded three unanswered points, the last coming when Jeff Jendryk and Dane Leclair combined on a block, to provide some breathing room and a much more comfortable 15-10 edge. The Bearcats were able to get within 18-15, but the Ramblers answered right back with four straight points to pull away and earn a 25-20 win to sweep the match.
Inside The Box Score
- Plaisted added six digs, four assists and three blocks to go with his match-high 16 kills. He has now tallied 10 or more kills in 10 straight outings.
- Leclair contributed 17 assists, eight digs and three blocks off the bench.
- Murray pitched in eight kills, while Jendryk added six kills and five digs.
- Maalik Walker led McKendree with 11 kills.
- Loyola and McKendree have met seven times and the Ramblers have yet to drop a set to the Bearcats, going 21-0.
Loyola hosts Saint Francis (Pa.) on Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m.