Loyola Battles Quincy In MIVA Quarterfinals

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loycMUSTANGS.COM

April 18, 2013

(7) Quincy Hawks (10-20) at (2) Loyola (19-9)
Friday, April 19 • 7 p.m.
Chicago, Ill. • Gentile Arena

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Ramblings
• Loyola enters the MIVA Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Ramblers earned a share of the MIVA regular-season title but lost the tiebreaker to Lewis • The Ramblers enter the tournament playing some of their best volleyball of the season. Loyola had won nine straight matches before suffering a four-set loss at Ball State in its regular-season finale last Saturday night in Muncie, Ind. • It marks the first time since 2006 that Loyola has finished atop the conference standings • Loyola won both of the regular season meetings between the two teams this year, earning a 3-1 win here on Feb. 8 before coming away with a 3-0 sweep on March 22 at Quincy • The Ramblers were well-represented when the MIVA announced its year-end awards. Joe Smalzer was named MIVA Player of the Year while Thomas Jaeschke took home MIVA Freshman of the Year accolades

Head Coach Shane Davis
Just the third coach in program history, Shane Davis has established his alma mater as one of the premier programs in the country. In his 10th season at the helm and already the winningest coach in program history, Davis reached a personal milestone last month, recording his 200th career win on March 22 against Quincy. An All-American setter and a 2003 graduate of Loyola, Davis is a three-time MIVA Coach of the Year (2005, 2006, 2010) and brings a career record of 205-83 (.712) into tonight's match. He is 21-1 (.955) in his career against Quincy and sports an 11-9 (.550) record in the MIVA Tournament

Not So Terrible Twos
Although Loyola had to settle for the No. 2 seed by virtue of the third tiebreaker (total points in their two regular season matches against Lewis), historically the second seed has had success in the MIVA Tournament, going 32-8 (.800) all-time in tournament play. In fact, the No. 2 seed has won six of the last 14 championships, including Lewis' win last year. This is the fifth time that the Ramblers have earned the No. 2 seed and they have advanced to the championship match each time, most recently in 2011

The Present and the Future
The combination of Joe Smalzer and Thomas Jaeschke is one of the most lethal in the MIVA. Both were recognized for their terrific season, as Smalzer was named MIVA Player of the Year and Jaeschke MIVA Freshman of the Year as the conference announced its postseason awards on Wednesday. Smalzer is the third Ramblers to earn the MIVA's top honor (last, Chris Kozlarek in 2006) while Jaeschke becomes the fifth LU player to walk away with the rookie award (last, Smalzer in 2011). In addition, their appearance on the All-MIVA First Team marks the fourth consecutive season that the Ramblers have played at least two players on the first team

Quality In The Quarters
Loyola looks to maintain its sterling record in the MIVA quarterfinals when it takes to the court tonight. The Ramblers are 13-3 (.813) all-time in this round, including 11 consecutive wins, and have not been tripped up in the quarters since a four-set loss to Lewis in 2000

Handling The Hawks
Traditionally, Loyola has enjoyed success against Quincy as the Ramblers enjoy a 35-4 (.897) advantage in the all-time series. Tonight is the fourth time the longtime MIVA foes have met in the postseason, with Loyola winning each of the previous three, most recently a 3-1 win in the 2011 semifinals. Overall, the Ramblers have won 27 of the past 28 meetings with the only setback being a five-set loss at Quincy on April 15, 2011