The Loyola women’s volleyball team (5-1, 4-1) moved to 4-1 in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play after defeating University of Evanville 3-2 at Alfie Norville Practice Facility Feb. 14.
“We’re very excited to get the win in five today,” Loyola head coach Amanda Berkley said. “It was kind-of an up-and-down match for us. Evansville started slow but they came on strong in sets 2, 3 and 4, but I’m overall pleased with the offensive output that we had.”
The Ramblers took the lead early to start the first set strong, going on a 5-0 scoring run against the Purple Aces before taking the set 25-13.
The second set was much closer, with the biggest lead taken by either team being just four points. However, Evansville managed to slip past Loyola to take the set 25-21.
In the third set, Loyola came out hot, winning the first four points. However, Evansville immediately responded with a 4-0 run of its own. The two squads were back-and-forth for the remainder of the set, until Loyola won three straight points to close it by a margin of 25-21.
Although Loyola started with the lead in the fourth set, Evansville rallied to tie the set at 13-13. Both teams went back and forth until Evansville took the set 25-23 and forced a fifth set.
In the fifth and final set, the Ramblers once again took the lead early on and held onto it to win the set 15-5 and take the game 3-2.
First-year middle blocker Anna Feldkamp and outside hitter Emily Banitt led the Ramblers in kills with 15 each. Feldkamp also led in block assists and triple blocks, bringing in eight each. She credited her teammates with giving her confidence during the game.
“I’ve been working on staying positive for myself and getting fired up in a way,” Feldkamp said. “Every time I get the ball, I want to get a kill. I think having that confidence from my setter and my teammates backing me up has helped me a lot.”
The Feb. 14 matchup was the third match of the season to end in a five-set win for the Ramblers. Berkley said she’s happy with how the team responded in the fifth set to bring home the win for Loyola.
“I think the team in the fifth set was prepared, confident and ready to go,” Berkley said. “I think that it was really awesome just to see how we came out of the game in the fifth set.”
The Ramblers will look to expand their three-game winning streak when they face off against the Purple Aces Feb. 15 in the second matchup of the two-game series. First serve at the Alfie Norville Practice Facility is slated for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.