Oct. 30, 2010
CHICAGO - Loyola was the first to 20 points in each set but Green Bay was stronger down the stretch as the Ramblers suffered a 3-0 (26-24, 26-24, 25-21) loss to the Phoenix this afternoon at Alumni Gym. The loss eliminates the Ramblers (9-16, 2-11 Horizon) from contention for a Horizon League Championship berth while the Phoenix improve to 9-18 (5-8) with the win.
After honoring seniors Mallory Curran and Colleen Francis in a prematch ceremony, Loyola came out strong, with Curran hammering down two kills as the Ramblers raced out to a 5-1 lead. Green Bay was able to regroup, eventually evening the set at 7-7, but three more Curran kills helped Loyola open up some breathing room with a 16-10 lead. The Phoenix responded by scoring the next four points to stay within striking distance and again pulled even at 19-all on a Carmen Leitermann kill. The teams essentially traded points to 23-23 before a LU service error gave the Phoenix a set point. Natalie Fiore erased the first chance with a kill but kills from Carlie Willison and Abbey Gitter wrapped up a 26-24 Green Bay win.
Trailing 10-5 in the second set after a Lyndsay Zabkowicz kill, Loyola was finally able to string some points together. A block from Curran and Hastings capped a 6-1 LU run that tied the set at 11 apiece and a Francis kill later gave the Ramblers a 16-14 lead. Hastings added another point to the Loyola lead later, giving the home team a 20-17 lead, but five straight Phoenix points gave the visitors a 22-20 advantage. A block from Curran and Fiore forged a 23-all deadlock and Curran and Schulte combined for another block to thwart the Phoenix on set point but a Willison kill and a Rambler error sealed a second 26-24 win, giving Green Bay a 2-0 lead in the match.
Loyola seemed to be in good position again in the third set, opening a 13-8 lead on a Cat Languido service ace. Green Bay answered by scoring the next five points to tie things up but kills from Francis and Curran soon after had the Ramblers up 17-14. A Phoenix error later made it a 20-17 LU lead but, just like the second set, Green Bay rattled off five straight points to move ahead, 22-20. A Hastings kill stemmed the tide momentarily but three straight LU errors allowed Green Bay to close out the match.
Curran and Francis both had strong efforts to lead the Ramblers, with Curran racking up a match-high 14 kills to go with five blocks and Francis chipping in with 11 kills and 15 digs for her 11th double-double of the season.
Loyola hits the road next week, opening weekend play on Friday night at Cleveland State (6 p.m. CT).