Results: Sept. 9 vs. University of Miami (3-2 L), Sept. 9 vs. Mississippi State University (3-2 W), Sept. 10 vs. No. 25 Kansas State University (3-0 L), Sept. 13 vs. the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) (3-1 L).
How they played: Competing against some of the top teams in the nation at the Kansas State Invitational and against a talented UIC team, the Ramblers took all but one game this week past three sets. However, every team defeated Loyola except Mississippi State University, and the Ramblers fell to 4-6 on the season.
What went down:
University of Miami (3-2 L)
The Ramblers began the Kansas State Invitational against the University of Miami team that won more than 20 games last season and played in the NCAA tournament. Loyola took the first two sets but was unable to finish off the Hurricanes, who took the final three sets.
Mississippi State University (3-2 W)
The only win at the Kansas State Invitational came in a five-set victory over Mississippi State University. The Ramblers were down two sets to one but rallied to take the final three sets and secure the win. Head coach Chris Muscat was pleased with the team’s victory in such a close game, especially after coming off a tough loss to the University of Miami.
“Winning a five-set match is huge. We responded well to adversity and showed mental toughness,” Muscat said.
No. 25 Kansas State University (3-0 L)
In the third and final match of the Kansas State Invitational, the Ramblers were unable to find momentum against the nationally ranked home team. Loyola’s loss came in three quick sets, but despite the loss, the team remains optimistic. Senior Morgan Reardon said the team can only improve from these games.
“I’m a huge fan of a tough schedule,” said Reardon. “It’ll test us early as we play in a tough conference, so I think it was a good idea to play these tough teams early.”
UIC (3-1 L)
The Ramblers dropped their home opener against UIC in four sets. UIC jumped up 2-0 after the first two sets, but the Ramblers fought back to take the third. They could not maintain the momentum and lost the match in the fourth set.
The team has back-to-back road games at Illinois State University and Indiana State University Sept. 23-24 before returning to Gentile Arena to begin conference play Sept. 30-Oct. 1 against the University of Evansville and Southern Illinois University.