Men's Volleyball

Aces Wild As Loyola Trumps Lindenwood, 3-0

Dainis Berzins led the Ramblers with 13 kills, seven digs and three block against the Lions.

Dainis Berzins led the Ramblers with 13 kills, seven digs and three block against the Lions.

April 4, 2012

Final Stats

CHICAGO - The Loyola men's volleyball team (17-11, 7-4 MIVA) turned in its best performance of the season, blasting 11 service aces and limiting the Lions to a meager .087 hitting percentage, to secure the sweep (25-15, 25-20, 25-11) against Lindenwood (17-13) tonight in Gentile Arena.

Loyola ran out to an early 9-4 lead off of a kill from Dainis Berzins. At the 15-9 mark, Mike Bunting registered a pair of kills to push the Rambler lead to 17-9. Berzins denied Lion Jack Mitchell at the net, notching a solo block to give Loyola a double-digit lead (21-11). A kill from Scott Siwicki fought off the first set point but Bunting followed with a kill to end the set 25-15.

The second set proved to be a much closer game. Neither team was able to establish a solid lead until midway through the set when the Ramblers broke away from an 11-11 tie. Smalzer notched a kill and punched two aces in a row to put Loyola at a 14-11 advantage. A block from Lindenwood's Mitchell and Scott Siwicki brought the Lions within one at 14-13 but that is as close as they would get as the Ramblers jumped into two three-point runs to take a commanding 20-15 lead. Another from Smalzer placed the game at set point and a Berzins kill finished it off, 25-20.

With the score tied at three in the third and final set, Berzins launched a bullet and the Ramblers never looked back. Loyola extended its lead to six points off of a kill from Bunting (10-4) and again to seven after a three-point run paced by the serve of Smalzer At the 20-9 mark, the Lions gained a point off of a service ace from Michael Adams but Loyola pulled out two more runs to end the game at an early 25-11 decision.

Berzins played spectacular for the Ramblers, leading the team with 13 kills, hitting a .632 (13-1-19) rate of success, and posting two service aces and three blocks. Bunting added 11 kills, one ace, and four digs. Smalzer turned in another personal-best performance, tying a career-high of six service aces, while notching nine kills and seven digs. As a team, the Ramblers triggered a .342 hitting percentage.

The Ramblers close out the 2012 regular season with a road match in Muncie, Ind. Loyola will face IPFW on Saturday, April 14 beginning at 6:00 p.m. CST.



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