Nov. 17, 2012
CLEVELAND - Freshman Stephanie Kinane broke Loyola's single-season digs record but regular-season champion Cleveland State proved to be too much as they defeated the Ramblers in straight sets, 3-0 (25-14, 25-9, 25-17), in a Horizon League semifinal. Cleveland State advances to the Horizon League championship game tomorrow afternoon while Loyola's season ends with a 17-12 record.
"I feel that a good base and foundation has been laid for our program," said head coach Chris Muscat. "I really appreciate the hard work of all of our players this year. Our seniors have played a vital role in laying a solid foundation for the future success of Rambler volleyball."
The Vikings jumped out to an early 9-5 lead in the first set, forcing Loyola to spend a timeout. The Ramblers rallied out of the timeout, cutting the Cleveland State lead to 9-7 off the heels of a Kinane service ace. Cleveland State then rallied off three consecutive scores of their own to take a five-point advantage. A kill by Marie Frease wrapped up the first set for the Vikings, 25-14.
Cleveland State again raced out in front, taking a 4-1 lead in the second set. The Vikings used a 10-1 scoring run, capped off by a kill from Dayna Roberts, to widen their lead before a kill from Kerry Winchester wrapped up a 25-9 second set win.
With their home crowd firmly behind them and looking to close out the match, Cleveland State stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the third set. The Ramblers were not interested in going quietly though, as they cut the lead down to 10-9 off a Vikings error. That would be the closest the Ramblers got for the rest of the third set. Back-to-back service aces by senior Anna Eytchsion pulled Loyola within two at 17-15, but Cleveland State pulled away to close out the third set by a final of 25-17.
Kinane dug a match-high 18 balls to give her 565 digs for the season, three better than Ann Deelo's record of 562 set back in 2006.
Loyola ends the season with a record of 17-12, a 13-win improvement from the previous season, a mark that is the best in the nation this season.