The Loyola women’s volleyball team (15-12, 7-8) was swept by Illinois State University 3-0 at Gentile Arena Friday night.
“That’s a very good team right there,” Loyola head coach Amanda Berkley said after the match. “They’ve beat some really good teams and they have a great defense … we did not match up, offensively, well with them.”
The Ramblers kept the first set close early, tying it up 10-10. The Redbirds went on a 4-0 run to force Loyola to call a timeout, but the Ramblers couldn’t recover and dropped the set 25-18.
Illinois State didn’t slow down in the second set, easily winning it 25-9 to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Redbirds carried the momentum into the third set, but the Ramblers made it as close as 11-8. But Illinois State rebounded and fended off a late Loyola surge to take the set 25-17 and seal the 3-0 sweep.
After the second set, Berkley said the team needed to step up its game to complete a comeback, which she said would’ve been difficult considering Illinois State came in with a 22-5 overall record and 14-1 conference record.
“[I told them] we’ve just got to want it more,” Berkley said. “We have to hit high and hard and be aggressive. We tried to, it’s just that’s a really good team and it’s hard to do that when they’re pretty good.”
Despite the loss, Loyola still sits in sixth place out of 10 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. The top six teams make the conference tournament Nov. 22-24, meaning the Ramblers still have a chance at making the cut for the first time since 2016.
The Ramblers are scheduled to take on Bradley University Nov. 10 in their final home match of the regular season. First serve is set for 7 p.m.