Aug. 29, 2009
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.