Jan. 21, 2013
CHICAGO – The Ramblers conclude their East Coast trip on Tuesday, Jan. 22, playing No. 6 Penn State at Rec Hall. After sweeping George Mason and improving to 4-3 on the season, Loyola faces the EIVA powerhouse before returning home for the weekend. First serve is set for 6 p.m. CST.
Last Time Out: Loyola continued its winning ways on Saturday, Jan. 19, defeating George Mason, 3-0 (25-21, 28-26, 25-23). The Ramblers have swept their last four opponents after starting 0-3 on the season.
- Redshirt junior Joseph Smalzer was named MIVA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, averaging 4.11 kills per set and collecting seven service aces. It is the first honor for Smalzer this season and the third of his career.
- The middle blockers had a break out week, anchoring Loyola at the net. Redshirt senior Eric Daliege had 10 total blocks (1.11 blocks/set) while freshman Nicholas Olson also managed 10 total blocks (1.24 blocks/set) including a career-high six total blocks against George Mason.
Scouting the Nittany Lions: Penn State enters Tuesday’s match on a three-game win streak, defeating Lewis on Saturday, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18). Senior Tom Comfort and sophomore Aaron Russell pace the Nittany Lion attack with 51 kills apiece. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond has settled in at setter, leading his team and the EIVA with 178 assists (10.47 assists/set). Defensively, the Nittany Lions have averaged 8.6 digs per set while totaling 1.9 blocks per frame.
- Loyola holds a 7-9 series record against Penn State, falling to the Nittany Lions in three straight sets last year. The Ramblers’ last win came in 2010, when the team defeated Penn State in five sets (30-26, 22-30, 24-30, 30-25, 15-7).