Loyola Men’s Volleyball Wins Third Straight MIVA Match Against No. 11 Ball State

The No. 13 Loyola (10-2, 3-0) men’s volleyball team defeated No. 11 Ball State University in a 3-1 set victory at Joseph J. Gentile Arena Feb. 16.

The No. 13 Loyola (10-2, 3-0) men’s volleyball team defeated No. 11 Ball State University in a 3-1 set victory at Joseph J. Gentile Arena Feb. 16.

The match began with a kill from redshirt senior outside hitter Cole Schlothauer, assisted by redshirt sophomore setter Dan Magun.The first set was tight between the Ramblers and the Cardinals, going point-for-point each possession. There were 12 ties throughout the set with four lead changes, as no team led by more than three until late in the set when Ball State caught the serve on a Ramblers attacking error and went on a 6-0 scoring run. This led Ball State to set point at 24-19.

The Ramblers kept the set alive after going on a 3-0 scoring run with the help of two attacking errors by the Cardinals but ultimately fell to Ball State 25-22. In the first, the Ramblers combined for 10 total kills and a .385 hitting percentage.

To begin the second set, the Cardinals registered two points from back-to-back aces. Loyola responded with a 4-0 scoring run featuring two kills from Schlothauer, one from Sophomore middle blocker Nicodemus Meyer, and a service error by the Ball State which led to a Ball State timeout.with a score of 6-2. The Ramblers kept a notable lead throughout the majority of the set — the largest at 17-10. 

The Cardinals brought Loyola’s lead down to two after registering two kills, but two consecutive service errors led the Cardinals to call a timeout at 19-15. Late in the second, the Cardinals cut their deficit to just three after registering an ace and two kills.  However, the Ramblers remained ahead and took the set 25-21, ending on a Ball State attack error.

After registering two aces in the set, Mangun was happy about his team’s performance and adjustments between the two sets.

“A lot of guys are doing really good things,” Mangun said. “I thought from set one to set two, the change we made, and I thought it was a real good team performance.”

Much like the first, the third set started with some neck-and-neck action. The Ramblers grabbed a four-point lead and led the Cardinals to their first timeout of the set at 12-7. Right out of the timeout, the Ramblers scored three straight with kills by Mangun and redshirt junior outside hitter Colton Brooks, leading Ball State right back into a timeout at 16-8.

Ball State registered two kills with and a Ramblers attacking error to get back within five, the Ramblers took their first timeout of the set at 20-15. To close out the third, Loyola earned a set winning -point after a kill by redshirt sophomore outside hitter Parker Van Buren at 24-17.

In a forced fourth set, the competition continued to be fierce between the teams, beginning the set very leveled. Loyola quickly picked up momentum and went on a 3-0 scoring run to extend its lead to five at 18-13 with a .550 hitting percentage. This energy kept the Ramblers on top for the remainder of the set, though it was still a battle for the team, according to Hawks.

Late in the set, Ball State made three kills to get back within two at 23-21, forcing the Ramblers to call a timeout. During the timeout, Hawks gave his team a simple pep talk. 

“Stick this pass, trust what we do,” Hawks said. “Whoever gets set, take a swing. We got your back. We will cover you if it comes back.”

Following the timeout, the Ramblers registered a kill by redshirt sophomore outside hitter Van Buren and took the set at 25-22 and the match at 4-1.

The Ramblers combined for 10 kills and a .484 kill percentage with 46 blocks and seven aces. Junior middle blocker Jimmy Meinhart, who led the team in blocks with a total of six, said the win was exciting. 

“It feels great but it’s all due to the guys right besides me,” Meinhart said. “The middles get all the credit.

Next up in its two-game homestand, the team hosts No. 10 The Ohio State University Feb. 18. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago.

Christopher J. Henry

Christopher J. Henry