|Schedule||March 16 | vs. #2 Ohio State | 7 p.m. (CT) | Live Stats | ESPN3
March 19 | vs. McKendree | 4 p.m. (CT) | Live Stats| Live Video
|Additional Information||Twitter | Facebook | Loyola Game Notes|
Loyola opens up a four-match homestand Thursday night when it welcomes No. 2 Ohio State to Gentile Arena. The Ramblers split a pair of contests last weekend at the LBSU Asics Tournament, knocking off No. 11 CSUN before falling to No. 2 Long Beach State. Cole Murray and Ben Plaisted were named to the Asics All-Tournament Team. When the Ramblers face Ohio State Thursday they will be seeking their first win over an opponent ranked No. 1 or No. 2 since toppling second-ranked UC Irvine in five sets on January 9, 2016.
Scouting the Buckeyes
Ohio State had a MIVA record 42-match win streak snapped last Saturday when it fell to then-No. 6 UC Irvine, 26-28, 19-25, 20-25 in Columbus. As a result, the Buckeyes lost their perch atop the AVCA Division I-II Poll, dropping one spot to No. 2 this week. Ohio State has won its last 18 true road matches, last losing on the road in 2015.
Senior opposite Miles Johnson and junior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen have produced 275 kills apiece to lead the Ohio State attack, which ranks second in the nation with a .372 hitting percentage. Defensively, the veteran crop of Buckeyes are paced by senior Gabriel Domecus, who averages 1.94 digs per set.
Scouting the Bearcats
The Bearcats have lost three of their last four matches heading into a March 16 meeting with Lewis. McKendree did prevail in its last road match, however, knocking off Saint Francis (Pa.) in four sets on March 4.
Junior outside hitter Nolan Rueter has drilled a team-high 200 kills and also leads the Bearcats with 22 total service aces. Hanover Park, Ill., native Pasquale Fiduccia, who prepped at Glenbard North High School, leads McKendree with 10.30 assists per set.
Loyola has won each of its previous six meetings with McKendree, winning all 18 sets.
Loyola continues its homestand next weekend when Saint Francis (Pa.) and Penn State visit Gentile Arena.