Palo Alto, Calif. - Anna Eytchison recorded a team-high nine kills but Loyola never really found its rhythm in a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-6) loss to Pacific tonight in the opening match of the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. The Ramblers fall to 5-3 while the Tigers remain undefeated, moving to 7-0.
Loyola was forced to play from behind in the opening set as Pacific took an early 8-4 lead on a Gillian Howard service ace. Kills from Kathleen Vogel and Brittany Brown helped the Ramblers get within two (10-8) but the Tigers used a 5-0 later to take a commanding 18-10 lead. Loyola battled the rest of the way but was unable to put a serious dent in the deficit and a Katy Tagart kill wrapped up a 25-17, opening-set win.
The second set was a different story as the Ramblers showed signs of finding their flow. The teams exchanged scoring runs throughout the early part of the set and it was Loyola that was able to create some breathing room, as Libby Bresser assisted on three blocks in a 7-0 run that turned a 13-12 deficit into a seemingly comfortable 19-13 lead. Consecutive Loyola errors capped a 6-0 Pacific run that immediately tied the score and the Tigers continued pushing, extending it to a 10-1 run that gave them a 23-20 lead. Nichole Riedel had a kill and assisted on two blocks as the Ramblers reeled off the next four to earn a set point (24-23) but a service error erased that opportunity and Pacific used a Tagart kill and a Howard ace to escape with a 26-24 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Loyola was unable to recover from that set and the third set was all Pacific as the Tigers were able to successfully close out the match.
Eytchison led Loyola with nine kills while Vogel added eight of her own to pace the offense. Stephanie Kinane racked up 20 digs from her libero spot and Loyola's block was solid with 8.5 total blocks on the night.
Loyola closes out tournament play tomorrow with a pair of matches. The Ramblers open the day with a Noon CT match against No. 8 Stanford before wrapping it up with a 10 p.m. tilt against Santa Clara.