Men’s Volleyball Slated to Finish First In Conference, Seventh in the Nation

Zack Miller | The PhoenixRedshirt junior Cole Schlothauer was named to the 2022 All-MIVA Preseason Team.

The Loyola men’s volleyball team has been selected to finish first out of the eight teams after receiving 59 points in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) 2022 preseason poll. 

This is a one spot jump from when the Ramblers were selected to finish second for the 2021 season. Loyola went 15-6 for the season and 9-5 in conference competition to finish second in MIVA play.

The Ramblers were also slated to finish seventh in the nation according to the 2022 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) D I-II Top 15 preseason poll, which compares teams from across conferences to create a national ranking.

Coming in for the second place spot in the MIVA poll and the eighth place spot in the AVCA is Lewis University. The Flyers went 12-2 in 2021 conference play to ultimately defeat the Ramblers 3-0 in the MIVA tournament championship game.

Loyola will return the majority of its roster, including redshirt junior outside hitter Cole Schlothauer and redshirt senior setter Garrett Zolg, both of whom were named to the All-MIVA preseason team. 

During the 2021 season, Schlothauer was ranked third in the MIVA and 16th in the nation in kills, averaging 3.1 per set. Schlothauer was also named MIVA Player of the Week and Sports Impact/AVCA National Player of the Week after recording a season-high 21 kills against Lincoln Memorial University Jan. 30.

Meanwhile, Zolg has made an appearance on the All-MIVA First Team at the end of all three seasons he’s played. The redshirt senior ranked 10th in the nation in assists, averaging 10.1 assists per set for the 2021 season. Zolg also ranked 12th in the country in service aces, recording an average of .45 per set. 

Schlothauer and Zolg were also named to the Off the Block Preseason Second-Team All-Americans. The national men’s volleyball publication compiles its preseason teams with votes from coaches and media members across the nation.

Although Loyola was slated to open its 2022 season at home against University of California-Irvine Jan. 1, the game was cancelled in response to the recent surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Ramblers will instead start their season on the road at No. 1 University of Hawaii Jan. 5 and Jan. 7. Their first match against the Rainbow Warriors is scheduled for 11 p.m. CT.

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