Oct. 5, 2012
CHICAGO - Anna Eytchison had 25 kills and 20 digs and Loyola used solid contributions across the board to rally past Milwaukee 3-2 (23-25, 25-13, 20-25, 25-16, 15-9) tonight at Gentile Arena. The Ramblers move to 12-6, 4-1 Horizon after picking up their seventh win in their last eight matches. Milwaukee dips to 7-10, 2-2.
The first set was tight in the early stages until Loyola opened up a 13-10 lead after back-to-back Eytchison kills. Four straight UWM points later turned a 16-13 deficit into a 17-16 Panthers lead but the Ramblers bounced back to take a 20-18 lead on a Kathleen Vogel solo block. Milwaukee hung in there and battled back, rattling off the next four points to regain the lead, and the teams battled to 23-all before two UWM kills gave the visitors the opening set.
The second set was all Loyola as three Vogel kills jumpstarted a 7-0 Rambler run that made it a 12-5 game. Eytchison had a kill and an ace later in a four-point burst that extended the margin to 10 (20-10) and the home team was never threatened with Brittany Brown closing out a 25-13 set with a kill and an ace.
Milwaukee roared out the gates in the third set, taking it to the Ramblers early. The Panthers opened up a 12-4 lead on a Rachel Neuberger kill but Loyola immediately responded, going on a 10-3 run that included three Vogel aces to get within a point, 15-14. A service error helped UWM slow the Loyola charge and the Panthers quickly extended to an 18-14 lead. Kills from Eytchison and Libby Bresser later helped get LU within two (21-19) but the Ramblers could not get over the hump, dropping the third set, 25-20.
The fourth set followed a similar pattern to the second frame and Loyola found itself with a 10-6 lead after two Eytchison kills and another from Bresser. It was a 13-10 lead when the Ramblers gained some separation. A five-point scoring run comprised of three Vogel kills and two from Brown made it 18-10 and LU was able to keep the Panthers at bay the rest of the way with Laura Purcell sealing a 25-16 win to send the match to a fifth set.
Although it was Loyola's first five-set match of the season, they came out aggressive. After splitting the first four points, Purcell and Bresser came up with two big blocks, the second of which also included Eytchison, to give the Ramblers some momentum. An Eytchison kill followed and Bresser drilled three more after that to give LU a commanding 9-2 lead. However, the final six points would not come easy and Milwaukee scored the next four to get within three, 9-6. A Vicki Wrobel ace helped Loyola extend back to a six-point lead (12-6) but, again, the Panthers battled back, getting to 12-9 on a Neuberger kill to prompt a Rambler timeout. Eytchison had a big kill coming out of the break to restore order and Loyola scored the final two points to wrap up the win.
Eytchison notched her first career 20-20 match, leading the way with her 25 kills and 20 digs. Vogel had another solid match, racking up 15 kills and three aces, while Bresser also reached double figures in kills, adding 10 to her four blocks. Purcell keyed a strong blocking effort with a career-high seven stuffs and Nichole Riedel was solid in the middle, finishing with five kills and eight digs in addition to some solid serving in the fifth set.
Brown had a nice match running the offense, racking up seven kills and 56 assists while guiding the attack to a .277 hitting percentage and Stephanie Kinane was rock solid in the back, digging a match-high 25 balls.
Loyola has a quick turnaround as the Ramblers host Green Bay tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m.