The No. 10-ranked Loyola men’s volleyball team (18-7, 11-2) defeated Lindenwood University 3-1 at Gentile Arena Friday night. The Ramblers winning streak sits at five matches in a row with just one match remaining in the regular season before the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) conference tournament.
The Ramblers were led by senior outside hitters Will Tischler and Collin Mahan. Tischler and Mahan both put up 16 kills while Tischler also had five blocks. Loyola’s offensive attack was facilitated by sophomore setter Garrett Zolg’s 44 assists.
Following the win, head coach Mark Hulse praised Tischler and Mahan for the consistency all season. While he’s had other players step up throughout the season, he said it’s really nice to have both Tischler and Mahan playing at such a high level.
“What’s been cool is if it’s not one then the other,” Hulse said. “We’ve had a handful of guys who have stepped up and led the charge for us on any given night. So to get both of them [playing well], it gets pretty tough to stop. [Mahan] has been so consistent with what he’s been doing. It’s kind of been the understated story [this season].”
Loyola and Lindenwood split the first two sets in an evenly matched start. The first set finished 25-21 in favor of Loyola with the second at 25-22 with Lindenwood taking the set. However, Loyola’s dominance at the net proved too much for the Lions as Lindenwood dropped the next two sets by a score of 25-18 each. Overall, the Ramblers had 58 kills to the Lions’ 43 kills.
Zolg also stressed the importance of consistency and remaining calm regardless of how the match is going. He mentioned the Ramblers ability to bounce back after dropping the second set.
“Never get too high or too low,” Zolg said. “Even though they had us in the second set, we weren’t freaking out or crumbling. We just kept playing the same volleyball, except at a little bit of a higher level … consistency is the hardest thing to do in sports.”
Loyola is currently in second place in the MIVA. This victory marks the second time this season the Ramblers have defeated Lindenwood by a score of 3-1. The Lions are in sixth place out eight teams in the MIVA.
The Ramblers next game is April 6 against Quincy University at Gentile Arena. First serve is set for 7 p.m.