The No. 7-ranked Loyola men’s volleyball team (13-4, 6-1) fell to No. 10-ranked Lewis University 3-1 at Gentile Arena Friday night, and now sit in second place in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) standings behind Lewis.
Senior outside hitter Collin Mahan led the Ramblers with 18 kills — including the thousandth of his career — and also recorded three service aces and three digs. Sophomore setter Garrett Zolg also contributed with a team-leading 45 assists, and senior middle blocker Paul Narup picked up 11 kills.
“[We] tried to take away some of [Lewis’] primary shots,” Zolg said. “They came out to play, we’ll get them next time.”
The loss is the Ramblers’ first in MIVA action and drops them into second place in the standings. Lewis, which was tied with Loyola heading into the match, improves to 7-0 in conference play.
“[Lewis] did a really good job of attacking us in a few different ways,” Loyola head coach Mark Hulse said. “I thought we did a few things well … we kind of uncharacteristically hit a bunch of balls out.”
Despite a close win in the first set, 28-26, Loyola wasn’t able to carry that momentum into the second set, losing 25-17 as Lewis tied the match 1-1.
The third set was another nail-biter, as the Ramblers never led by more than five. After leading 23-21, Lewis went on a 4-0 run to win the third stanza 25-23 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The fourth set was all Lewis as the Flyers would open the set with a 7-0 run and would go on to win 25-17 to seal the victory.
The Ramblers are scheduled to take a break from MIVA action as they take on Grand Canyon University March 8 in Phoenix at 7 p.m. CDT.