Men's Volleyball

Men’s Volleyball Overcomes First Set Struggles to Beat Ball State

Nick Schultz | The PhoenixSenior middle blocker Paul Narup, senior outside hitter Will Tischler and first-year opposite hitter Luke Denton jump to block a spike.

The No. 7-ranked Loyola men’s volleyball team (11-3, 4-0) recovered after a tough loss in the first set to defeat No. 12-ranked Ball State University 3-1 at Gentile Arena Saturday night.

“We had a really good boost from some of our guys off the bench,” Loyola head coach Mark Hulse said. “It was good to see us win in kind of one way last night and then win in a pretty different way tonight.”

Senior outside hitter Collin Mahan led the Ramblers with 20 kills while also tallying 12 digs — including the 500th of his career. Senior outside hitter Will Tischler contributed with 14 kills and sophomore setter Garrett Zolg recorded a game-high 54 assists.

“That’s huge, [500 digs] is awesome,” Mahan said. “Defense is just as important as attacks, stealing somebody’s kill away from them is a great feeling.”

“It was good to see us win in kind of one way last night and then win in a pretty different way tonight.”

Mark Hulse, Loyola head coach

All four sets were tightly contested and it wasn’t until after the first set that Loyola began to take control. The first set was a tough serving set for the Ramblers as they recorded several service errors and tallied 17 total in match. Loyola would lose the first set 27-25 to fall into a 1-0 hole.

The next three sets were all Loyola as senior middle blocker Paul Narup would have one of his best defensive games of the season, finishing with 10 blocks. Loyola would go on to win the second, third and fourth sets 29-27, 25-21 and 25-23, respectively.

With the win, Loyola has improved to 4-0 in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) play which puts the Ramblers at the top of the MIVA rankings. Ball State falls to 7-7 on the year and 1-3 in MIVA action. The Cardinals were led by junior outside hitter Matt Szews’ 16 kills.

The Ramblers are scheduled to play McKendree University Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in Lebanon. The game will be broadcasted on Great Lakes Valley Conference Sports Network.

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