Ramblers Clash With Ball State In MIVA Semis




April 23, 2013

Ball State Cardinals (21-5) at Loyola (20-9)
Wednesday, April 24 • 7 p.m.
Chicago, Ill. • Gentile Arena

Loyola Match NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Ramblings
• Despite earning a share of the regular-season MIVA title, Loyola had to settle for the No. 2 seed in the tournament by virtue of total points scored in its head-to-head matches with Lewis (third tiebreaker)
• Tonight's match features two of the country's hottest teams. Ball State carries a 13-match winning streak into action tonight while the Ramblers have won 10 of 11, the only loss coming on April 13 in Muncie
• This marks Loyola's 13th consecutive trip to the MIVA semifinals. The last time the Ramblers failed to reach the semis was in 2000. Loyola lost to Lewis at this stage last season
• Tonight is also the rubber match for the season series with Ball State. Loyola earned a 3-0 sweep here in February but lost a tough four-set decision in Muncie in April
• Joe Smalzer, who was named MIVA Player of the Year last week, was named Off The Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year on Monday. Smalzer leads the NCAA in service aces this season

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 206-83 (.713) into tonight's match. He is 14-7 (.667) in his career against Ball State and sports a 12-9 (.571) 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 33-8 (.805) 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

Holding Serve At Home
While the Loyola/Ball State series has been closely contested, with Loyola holding a slight 23-19 edge all-time, the Ramblers have had the Cardinals' number at home through the years. In fact, Ball State won the first two meetings here during the 1996 and 1997 seasons but has only won in the Windy City once since then (1999), with Loyola carrying a 14-match home winning streak over BSU into tonight's match. Thomas Jaeschke had a match-high 16 kills to lead the Ramblers to a 3-0 victory in the regular-season meeting here way back on Feb. 23.

Paucity of Postseason Proceedings
While Loyola and Ball State have been two of the MIVA's most successful programs through the years, however, their paths have rarely crossed during the postseason. Tonight marks just the sixth postseason meeting between the two and the first since 2004. The Ramblers are 2-3 (.400) against the Cardinals in MIVA Tournament play, with the teams splitting two prior meetings in the semifinals. Ball State swept the Ramblers in the 2004 semis at Ohio State, one season after LU knocked the Cardinals out at the same stage at Lewis

No Doubting This Thomas
One of the many bright spots for Loyola this season has been the play of freshman outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke. A stalwart in the LU lineup from the opening match, Jaeschke has given the Ramblers consistency and production on the outside. The MIVA Freshman of the Year in addition to being on the All-MIVA First Team, Jaeschke is second on the team in kills (313, 3.26 kps) while hitting at a .345 efficiency this season. He slammed a team-high 30 kills (4.29 kps) at a .302 clip and added 15 digs (2.14 dps) in the two regular-season meetings with Ball State