Loyola Sweeps Eastern Kentucky For First Win

Natalie Pounovich had 11 kills and five blocks to lead the Ramblers past Eastern Kentucky

Natalie Pounovich had 11 kills and five blocks to lead the Ramblers past Eastern Kentucky

Aug. 29, 2009

Box Score

CHICAGO - Colleen Francis and Natalie Pounovich had 11 kills apiece as Loyola earned its first win of the 2009 season with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 31-29) sweep of Eastern Kentucky at the Loyola Invitational at the Gentile Center. The Ramblers improve to 1-1 while the Colonels fall to 0-2.

The teams were tied six different times to get to 11-all in the opening set before Loyola took control. Two Ceci Mattei service aces sandwiched four Francis kills in a 8-0 Rambler run that gave LU a commanding 19-11 lead. Francis continued her hot start with three aces in another 5-0 spurt that pushed the Ramblers to set point, where Katie Johnson put the finishing touches on a 25-13 win. After hitting .000 in all three sets last night, Loyola hit a sizzling .407 (15-4-27) in the opening set this afternoon.

Loyola used an 8-1 run early in the second set to turn a 6-2 deficit into an early 10-7 lead. The Colonels regrouped to grab the lead at 11-10 and maintained the edge as late as 15-14 before Loyola made its run. A Pounovich ace gave LU a 16-15 lead and a Francis kill later extended the advantage to two, 19-17. Eastern Kentucky drew to within a point (20-19) on a Lauren Snyder kill but the Ramblers rattled off the last five points of the set, with Johnson accounting for the final two with a kill and a solo block.

The third set was tight throughout with neither team enjoying more than a two-point lead until the latter stages. Three consecutive kills from Dana VanDiggelen gave the home team a seemingly comfortable 20-16 but a pair of aces from Snyder helped the Colonels pull even at 20. A pair of Pounovich kills gave the Ramblers match point with a 24-23 lead but they could not break through until an EKU service error and hitting error handed them a 31-29 win.

Pounovich hit .381 (11-3-21) for the match and added five blocks to lead the Ramblers. Francis finished with 11 kills and 11 digs for her first career double-double while VanDiggelen added another with 10 kills and 12 digs. Mattei had a nice match running the offense, finishing with 37 assists, six digs and three blocks, while Alyse Serritella led a strong defensive effort with a match-high 19 digs.

Loyola wraps up play at the Loyola Invitational with a 7 p.m. match against Marquette.