April 10, 2013
Fort Wayne, Ind. - Joe Smalzer ripped a match-high 17 kills and No. 11 Loyola hit .371 as a team in a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-14) sweep of IPFW tonight at Hilliard Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Ramblers improve to 19-8 (10-3 MIVA) with their ninth consecutive win while the Mastodons slip to 12-12 (4-9) with the loss.
Loyola got off to a solid start, using kills from Smalzer and Cody Caldwell to jump out to an early 5-1 lead. IPFW finally settled in and slowly crawled its way back into the set. Three straight points pulled the Mastodons even at 12 and they took their first lead (14-13) on a Loyola error. An IPFW block later gave the hosts an 18-16 but the Ramblers were able to bounce back, scoring five of the next six points to take a 21-19 lead. A Smalzer kill and a Mastodon error made it a 23-20 lead and back-to-back kills from Nick Olson and Caldwell gave LU the opening set, 25-21.
IPFW scored the first four points of the second set before the Ramblers got going. A block from Eric Daliege and Peter Hutz capped a four-point LU spurt that tied the set at 8-8 and Smalzer had two kills in another four-point run later that gave the Ramblers a 13-10 advantage. Loyola managed to play from in front and opened a 20-16 lead after a Hutz kill and an IPFW error. Three consecutive points by the home team made it a one-point game but a service error ended the run and the Ramblers scored the last four to close out a 25-20 win that gave the visitors a 2-0 lead heading to intermission.
The third set started out tight, as the teams traded the first 18 points to get to 9-all. However, it was all Loyola from that point on. A Caldwell ace got things started and three blocks from Hutz and Olson in a four-point span helped stretch the lead to seven (16-9). Another block later, this time from Jaeschke and Daliege, made it a 19-10 score and the Ramblers cruised to the finish line, closing it out with a triple block from Olson, Smalzer and Trevor Novotny.
Smalzer racked up 13 of his 17 kills over the final two sets to lead the Ramblers, who hit .371 for the match and .500 over the last two sets. Daliege and Olson racked up five blocks apiece to lead the defensive effort at the net, as the Ramblers notched eight of their 12 blocks in the final frame.
With the win, Loyola can finish no worse than second in the regular season standings heading into its regular-season finale on Saturday at Ball State.