No. 14 Ramblers Defeat Lindenwood and Extend Win Streak
March 23, 2013
ST. CHARLES, Mo. - No. 14 Loyola University Chicago extended its five-game win streak on Saturday night, defeating MIVA newcomer Lindenwood University, 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-16, 25-19). Thomas Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.) led the floor with 19 kills and was joined by Joseph Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill.) and Cody Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) who also posted double-digit kills. Peter Jasaitis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) notched 10 digs while Eric Daliege (Orland Park, Ill.) had seven blocks.
Caldwell opened the game for the Ramblers with a trio of kills to tie the match at three. The Lions answered with a 4-0 run, forcing a Loyola timeout as the Ramblers trailed 7-3. The brief break allowed Loyola to regroup and the team returned with a 4-0 run of its own behind kills from Smalzer and Jaeschke to tie the game seven-all. Daliege posted back-to-back blocks followed by a kill to put Loyola in the lead 14-10. Lindenwood worked to come back, staying within five until a kill by Jaeschke and an attack error on the Lions pushed Loyola ahead 22-16. Smalzer blasted a kill to give his team the first set point as Nicholas Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) and Caldwell closed the first frame with a block, 25-18.
Lindenwood errors coupled with a block by Daliege and Smalzer gave Loyola an immediate 3-0 lead in the second. The teams battled back-and-forth before Lindenwood came back to tie the game at eight. The Lions found their way to the front, establishing a 14-11 lead to send Loyola to a timeout. At the return of play, the Ramblers went on a 7-1 spree led by Jaeschke who posted two block assists and a kill, catapulting his team back to the lead, 18-15. The Lions roared back to tie the game for a sixth time before Loyola called a second timeout with the match tied 20-all. It was a hard fought battle from there with the teams at a stalemate before Lindenwood sealed the 26-14 win.
Smalzer led a Rambler rally at the start of the third, helping his team establish a commanding 8-3 lead. It was downhill from there for the Lions with Loyola making a statement, extending its lead 12-6 before Lindenwood called a timeout. Unfazed by the break, Peter Hutz (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) ripped a service ace and Loyola forced additional Lion errors to jump ahead 16-7. Strong offensive play by the Ramblers closed out the set as Loyola took the 25-16 win.
Riding momentum into the fourth, the Ramblers forged a 5-0 lead to open the final set. Caldwell blasted back-to-back kills to keep Loyola ahead 7-3 as the Lions slowly recovered. Four unanswered points fueled by Smalzer kills forced Lindenwood to a timeout as the Lions trailed 11-5. Daliege led a late charge, posting two blocks and a kill to reaffirm a 17-11 advantage. Lindenwood would not give up, cutting the deficit to five before Smalzer and Olson gave the Ramblers the 25-19 win.
"Lindenwood put great service pressure on us throughout the night," said head coach Shane Davis. "Our team responded well, setting up the pass to Peter Hutz who ran a good offense. Overall, everybody stepped up, taking care of each of their individual jobs to help us get the win."
Loyola improves to 15-8 overall and 6-3 in conference play. The team returns to Gentile Arena where it will host its regular-season series against Grand Canyon on Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 28. First serve for both matches is at 7 p.m.