The Loyola women’s volleyball team (8-2) opened the inaugural Chicago Cup with a 3-0 sweep of DePaul University at Gentile Arena Friday night. The victory extends the Ramblers’ win streak to eight games — the program’s longest winning streak since 2015.
“It feels good to beat DePaul,” Loyola head coach Amanda Berkley said after the match. “I don’t know if I feel the rivalry yet, with this being my first year here, but I definitely think it’s fun to beat an [intra-city] team.”
Sophomore middle blocker Elle Van Grinsven led the charge for Loyola with 16 kills — one short of her career high. On the defensive end, first-year defensive specialist Lauren Caprini had a team-high 14 digs.
Another key Rambler was junior setter and reigning Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week Delilah Wolf, who accounted for 46 of Loyola’s 48 assists.
“Our passing was spot on,” Van Grinsven said. “[Wolf] did a really nice job of mixing it up in the beginning so Heather [Kocken] and I were able to just put balls away.”
The Ramblers have swept all four of their matches at Gentile Arena this season. Berkley said she believes the success is largely due to the environment and energy in the arena.
“It’s such a cool atmosphere in Gentile,” Berkley said. “With all the video boards, the music and you’re playing in front of your family and friends, it’s a lot more fun to play here.”
Loyola still has two games left in the Chicago Cup — both of which are scheduled for September 15 in Gentile Arena. Berkley and Van Grinsven said they feel prepared for the quick turnaround between matches.
“I think we’re ready for it,” Van Grinsven said. “We just need sleep and hydration. We have a lot of energy, so we’re ready to take down two more teams.”
Loyola is slated to take on University of Illinois at Chicago September 15 at noon before taking on Northwestern University at 7 p.m.