Aug. 25, 2012
CHICAGO - Anna Eytchison rapped out a career-high 21 kills in her first game in a Loyola uniform and the Ramblers opened the 2012 season with a convincing 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-19) win over Manhattan in the first game of the La Salle Invitational this morning in Philadelphia, Pa.
"We had a couple of good practices this week leading up to today and it was nice to get out on the court and get comfortable in a game situation," said head coach Chris Muscat. "This team has the ability to score points in a lot of different ways and we had a lot of contributors this morning which was great to see."
Loyola got off to a terrific start, with Libby Bresser scoring the opening point followed by a Vicki Wrobel ace as LU tallied the first three points. After Manhattan got on the board, freshman Kathleen Vogel notched her first career kill then served up six straight points from the service line, including a pair of aces, as the Ramblers bolted to a 10-1 lead. Two Jasper errors later extended Loyola's lead to 12 (16-4) and the Maroon and Gold cruised from there with Vogel closing out a 25-10 win with a kill.
The second set followed a similar pattern as a Bresser kill gave the Ramblers an early 5-1 advantage. A Vogel kill later made it a 9-3 lead before both teams settled in a bit. Manhattan rattled off four of five points to pull within three (14-11) but a solo stuff by Nichole Riedel gave LU a 17-12 lead and, after a service error, set the stage for a rousing finish as kills from Eytchison, Vogel and Laura Purcell highlighted a set-ending 8-0 run, on Eytchison's serve, that gave the Ramblers a 2-0 lead in the match.
The final set featured scoring runs by both teams as Manhattan scored three of the first four points of the frame to make Loyola play from behind. Back-to-back Eytchison kills gave LU its first lead and a 4-0 run later on Brittany Brown's serve gave the Ramblers a 10-7 margin. The lead was just two, 17-15, when Loyola dug deep and put the match away. A Manhattan error gave the Ramblers service and Purcell ripped a pair of kills to give LU a commanding 21-15 lead late in the set. The Jaspers would get no closer than five the rest of the way as Purcell closed out the season-opening sweep.
Eytchison hammered down eight of her 21 kills in the final set to pace the Ramblers, who pounded away at a .353 clip for the match. Purcell also saved her best for the third frame, racking up five of her six put-aways. Brown, in her first collegiate match, dished out 29 assists to go with five digs while Vogel (five kills, eight digs, three aces) and Stephanie Kinane (team-high nine digs) played their roles well.
"We want to continue to play fast and play with good tempo," continued Muscat. "Every single player played an important role and by playing for the team we have the potential to do a lot of good things."
Loyola returns to the court this afternoon with a 2 p.m. match against Niagara.