Oct. 17, 2012
CHICAGO - Only six days into fall practice, Loyola University Chicago men's volleyball is already preparing for its first exhibition match against Lewis University on Sunday, Oct. 21, at the University of Illinois. The match on Sunday will kick off the fall season for the Ramblers with a match against Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) headlining the schedule on Oct. 24 in Gentile Arena.
"We have a great fall setup with a lot of competitions spread out evenly," said head coach Shane Davis. "It's going to give us a good idea of where the team is throughout different points this fall. This year we have a lot of talent and we're deep at each position. This schedule allows us to run different lineups to see where players are at different times."
After recording a 19-12 overall record and going 8-4 in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) during the 2012 season, Loyola returns 17 letterwinners and debuts eight newcomers. Those returning include 2012 All-MIVA selections Joseph Smalzer, Peter Jasaitis and Dainis Berzins.
"We're day six into practice, but we're already farther along than we were last fall," said Davis. "The competition is a lot better in the gym this year. We're moving in the right direction and getting better every day."
Following the match against the Flyers on Oct. 21, the Ramblers will host RSUH on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Gentile Arena. The match will start at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free.
"We have no idea what the Russian team is going to bring to the table," said Davis. "It's going to be a great challenge for us. It makes for good training because the players and staff will have to identify characteristics of the team during the match and make the necessary adjustments early on."
The Ramblers will take a week off before returning to competition on Nov. 4, when they travel to Romeoville, Ill., for the Lewis Fall Tournament. Loyola will host the Loyola Invitational on Nov. 10, before closing out the fall schedule on Nov. 17 at Ball State.
2012 Loyola University Chicago Men's Volleyball Fall Schedule