Sept. 25, 2007
CHICAGO - Freshman Mallory Curran had a career-high 17 kills to lead a well-rounded attack, helping Loyola to a 3-1 (30-28, 26-30, 30-24, 30-23) win over Green Bay tonight at Alumni Gym. The Ramblers, who improve to 18-1 all-time against Green Bay at Alumni Gym, pick up their first Horizon League win of the season and move to 4-10, 1-2 while dropping the Phoenix to 3-10, 1-3.
"It was great to see us come out and compete at a high level for four full games," said head coach Marcie Bomhack. "Mallory was a real catalyst for us tonight and Dana (VanDiggelen) and Sarah (Singer) also had nice nights so it was a good, solid team effort out there."
Game one was tight through the early stages before Loyola was able to gain some breathing room. A kill from Lauren Ditscheit gave Loyola the ball and a 15-13 lead and behind the service of Curran, and later Ditscheit, the Ramblers reeled off eight of the next nine points - the last coming on a block from VanDiggelen and Colleen Francis - to take a commanding 23-14 lead. Green Bay managed to chip away at the lead, getting within four (25-21), before a pair of Curran kills restore a seemingly comfortable, 28-22, lead. However, as has been a problem this year, Loyola had to work for the last two points. Green Bay reeled off four straight points to get within a pair, 28-26, before a service error halted the run and pushed Loyola to the brink. The Ramblers first game point was erased courtesy of a service error and a Lynsey Thiel kill brought the Phoenix within one, 29-28, before Ditscheit found space to give LU the opening frame. Loyola snatched the game one victory despite being out-killed 18-12, using eight Green Bay hitting errors and six service errors to its advantage.
The second game followed a similar form early, as three Green Bay errors ignited a 5-1 Loyola spurt that turned a 9-9 tie into a 14-10 lead. Two Curran kills later made it an 18-15 Rambler lead and the home team still enjoyed a 20-17 lead before the Phoenix rallied. Consecutive blocks pulled Green Bay even at 20 and, after a service error gave GB a 25-23 lead, the Phoenix sprinted to the finish, getting a Liesl Tesch kill on game point to even the match heading to intermission.
This time it was Green Bay who jumped out to the lead in game three, using a 7-2 spurt to turn an 8-all tie into a 15-10 lead. A Curran kill helped Loyola regain its feet and back-to-back kills from VanDiggelen and Keily Zins pulled the Ramblers within a point (18-17), prompting a Phoenix timeout. The Phoenix was able to extend to a 20-17 lead out of the break before a 5-0 run on the service of VanDiggelen pushed LU into a 22-20 lead. Kills from Singer and VanDiggelen pushed the margin to 25-21 and there would be no let up, as a VanDiggelen/Francis block and a ball-handling error closed out a 30-24 win. Curran and Singer each notched five kills in the frame, as the Ramblers hit a sparkling .306 in the set.
Poised to close out the match, Loyola jumped out to an early 8-3 lead on a Phoenix error. Green Bay regrouped and pulled within two on two different occasions but a Singer kill and another Phoenix attack error boosted the lead back to four, 11-7. Leading 13-10, Loyola was able to string together four straight points, as each of the big three (Curran, Singer and VanDiggelen) hammered down kills to make it a 17-10 advantage. The Ramblers were never threatened the rest of the way and cruised to the win.
Curran's 17 kills came at a .353 efficiency (17-5-34) while Singer pounded out her 15 kills at a .414 clip (15-3-29), as Loyola hit .222 as a team for the match. VanDiggelen added 15 kills and 14 digs for fifth double-double of the season and fourth in the last six matches. Ditscheit had another solid night running the show, finishing with five kills, 46 assists and 10 digs.
Loyola returns to action on Friday night when it makes the short trip to the West Side to battle UIC. First serve from the Flames Athletic Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.