The No. 11-ranked Loyola men’s volleyball team (16-7, 9-2) defeated McKendree University 3-0 at Gentile Arena Thursday night. The win marks the Ramblers’ third in a row as they enter the final three matches of Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) play.
“I thought we did a few things really well that we needed to do,” Loyola head coach Mark Hulse said after the match. “We had to be good in some different spots to be successful tonight.”
Senior outside hitter Will Tischler led the Ramblers with 12 kills and also contributed with six digs. Senior middle blocker Paul Narup became the second player in Loyola history to rack up 10 kills on 10 attempts — a 1.000 clip.
“It definitely helps to win games and that’s all we’re really out here for,” Narup said. “If I can go 10-for-10, it definitely helps.”
The first set was back-and-forth as neither team was able to take any dominant lead. Eventually, Loyola took the first stanza 26-24 before winning the second 25-19 to snag a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set was all Ramblers, as they led the Bearcats by as many as 13 points en route to a 25-13 victory to seal the 3-0 sweep.
As Loyola heads into the final three matches of the season, it sits in second place in the MIVA standings behind Lewis University. The Flyers defeated the Ramblers in both matches this year, but Hulse said his team has been firing on all cylinders as of late and he looks to keep that momentum going into the home stretch before the MIVA Tournament in April.
“It’s not a bad sign when we’re stringing a few [wins] together. It’s very much one game at a time,” Hulse said. “It’s always, ‘The next one is the most important one,’ and the next one is Ohio State.”
The Ramblers are scheduled to continue their season March 29 against The Ohio State University at Gentile Arena. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago.