Stanford, Calif. - Anna Eytchison recorded a team-high nine kills but Santa Clara used a first-set comeback to propel them to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-21) win over the Ramblers tonight in the final match of the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, Calif. Loyola drops to 5-5 on the season while fellow Jesuit school Santa Clara improves to 7-3 with the win.
The opening set was close in the early going and a Kathleen Vogel kill and consecutive aces from Vicki Wrobel gave Loyola an 11-9 lead. The Ramblers were able to open up some breathing room behind Libby Bresser, as the sophomore ripped three consecutive kills and teamed with Eytchison for a block for another point as LU bolted to a 19-12 lead. The Broncos were able to stem the tide but Loyola still led 23-19 after a hitting error, a point that would prove to be the Ramblers' final one of the set as Santa Clara stunned them with a set-closing 6-0 run to steal a 25-23 win.
A Stephanie Kinane ace gave Loyola an early lead in the second set but Santa Clara was able to answer and play from the lead. A Bresser kill and a Broncos error drew LU within a point (12-11) but Lexi Williamson nailed a pair of kills to highlight a 5-0 run that gave Santa Clara a 16-11 advantage. Loyola trailed 22-15 before making a final push, as kills from Eytchison and Laura Purcell plus a Brittany Brown ace helped make it a 22-20 game and prompt a Santa Clara timeout. A service error ended Loyola's run and two straight hitting errors wrapped up a 25-20 win that gave SCU a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set followed a similar pattern with Santa Clara leading most of the way. Loyola's deficit fluctuated between one and three points through the middle stages as the Ramblers just could not get over the hump. A Maureen Carls kill made it a 16-15 game but three LU errors helped push the Broncos out to a 21-16 advantage. Kills from Mary Kate Styler and Purcell pulled the Ramblers back within two (21-19) and another Styler kill later made it a 22-21 game. Megan Anders was able to help Santa Clara side-out and a Kayla Lommori kill and a Loyola error accounted for the final two points as the Broncos finished off the sweep.
Eytchison, who was named to the all-tournament team, paced Loyola with nine kills.Vogel finished with seven kills and seven digs while Kinane had another solid match in the back row, racking up a match-high 22 digs.
Loyola returns home this weekend and opens the home portion of its schedule next weekend as it plays host to the Rambler Challenge beginning on Friday afternoon (Sept. 14).