Loyola Fends Off Morgan State, 3-2|
Sep 6, 2013
Greenville, N.C. - Maureen Carls slammed three of her career-high 17 kills in the fifth set as Loyola regrouped to knock off Morgan State, 3-2 (25-19, 25-11, 23-25, 18-25, 15-10), this afternoon in the opening match of the ECU Invitational in Greenville, N.C. This marked the third five-setter for the Ramblers (3-2) already this season. Morgan State drops to 0-4 with the loss.
"I think it is important to remember that we are just five matches into the season and this group is still growing as a team," said head coach Chris Muscat. "I am extremely proud of the resiliency that we showed in the fifth set and our ability to keep working together to grind it out."
Loyola stormed out of the gates, using kills from Olivia Akin, Brittany Brown and Emily Carr to take a 6-0 lead. Morgan State tried to chip away and got within four (9-5) before Carls and Libby Bresser accounted for all four points in a 4-0 scoring run to give the Ramblers a 13-5 advantage. A Vicki Wrobel ace helped keep Loyola comfortably in front and a Morgan State error eventually closed out a 25-19, opening-set win. Carls ripped five kills in the frame as Loyola hit a respectable .269 (12-5-26).
The Ramblers took command of the second set early as well, using two aces from Kelly Feigh and a couple of blocks from Akin and Carr to run out to a 10-3 lead. A Carls kill later extended the lead to 10 (14-4) and the Ramblers kept their foot on the gas and moved to set point with a 24-10 lead courtesy of a Bresser ace. A Bears error two points later gave LU a 25-11 win and a 2-0 lead in the match. Loyola hit .368 (11-4-19) in the set and a stifling defense held MSU to just two kills and a -.312 efficiency (2-7-16) for the set.
Morgan State came out with renewed energy in the third set, jumping out to leads of 6-2 and 11-5 before Loyola settled back in. A Brown kill pulled the Ramblers within three (14-11) before four straight Bears points saw them extend the lead back to seven (18-11). Two Carls kills made it a 20-16 game and the Ramblers eventually clawed all the way back, drawing even at 23 on a kill from Carr. However, Morgan State was able to side-out to get to set point and used a block at the net to extend the match to a fourth set with a 25-23 win.
The fourth set was close throughout the early stages with the teams tied seven different times to get to 9-all. Two aces from Janelle Wilson keyed a four-point MSU run that gave the Bears a 15-10 lead and the margin grew to eight (21-13) before a Wilson kill sealed a 25-18 victory to take the match to a fifth set.
In that fifth set, the teams alternated the first five points before a block from Bresser and Brown gave LU a 4-2 lead. Kills from Carls and Morgan Reardon gave Loyola an 8-5 lead at the change over and a Bresser kill and a setting error pushed the lead to five (12-7) with the finish line in sight. A Bears error gave the Ramblers a handful of match points and a service error provided the final point as Loyola got tournament play started on the right foot.
Carls finished with match-highs of 17 kills and 18.5 points to lead the Ramblers, who rebounded from two sluggish sets to hit .375 (8-2-16) in the fifth frame. Carr added the first eight kills of her collegiate career while Reardon finished with six kills and a season-high 10 digs. Feigh also gave the Ramblers a lift, serving up three aces to go with eight digs.
Loyola returns to action tomorrow with a pair of matches starting with a 9 a.m. tilt against The Citadel. The Ramblers then close the tournament tomorrow night with a 6 p.m. match against host East Carolina.