Loyola Chicago Women’s Volleyball Drops 3-1 to No. 23 Dayton

It was described as an error-driven loss on the Loyola side by head coach Amanda Berkley.

The Loyola women’s volleyball team (2-10, 0-1) began conference play with their season opener Friday, Sept. 22 against No. 23 University of Dayton, falling 3-1. It was described as an error-driven loss on the Loyola side as head coach Amanda Berkley tipped hats to a physical Dayton team that made little to no mistakes.

The match opened favoring Dayton as they went up early on a 4-0 scoring run off two Loyola service errors, a poor set by Loyola and a kill from fourth-year Flyers middle blocker Amelia Moore. Their opposition’s early momentum sent Loyola into an early timeout.

A Flyers service error gave the Ramblers the serve out of the timeout. Graduate outside hitter Addie Barns registered a kill, pushing the set to 5-2. As play continued, Dayton maintained a steady four-point lead over Loyola.

Fourth-year outside hitter Karlee McNabb documented an ace that followed an attack error from the Flyers. Third-year setter Bree Borum followed it with a putback kill to give Loyola a 3-0 scoring run, now trailing just 10-9.

Dayton responded with a three-point run of their own. Play continued forward with Loyola still hanging on down four. Dayton picked up another 3-0 scoring run following a Loyola service error, a pair of kills through third-year junior Alyssa Miller and redshirt second-year outside hitter Taylor Russel. Loyola settled for a timeout at 19-12.

A kill out of the timeout from McNabb was followed by another 3-0 run from Dayton, up 22-13. The Ramblers savored two kills via fourth-year right-side hitters Emily Banitt and Borum. Dayton then slammed the door, finishing the first set on their fifth scoring run 25-15.

Set two opened with a powerful block assisted by Banitt and first-year middle blocker Avery DeBlick, followed by a Banitt kill. Banitt and Barnes gave Loyola a 4-1 lead in the opening exchange. The Flyers, with an early 3-0 second set run, erased the deficit with a kill, ace and Loyola attack error. The set stood even at four points a piece.

Play resembled a more even stat line in the middle portions as the second set progressed. This was until an error from the Flyers gave the Ramblers the serve, setting up a momentous 5-0 scoring run. Two kills from Banitt and two Dayton attack errors sent the Flyers crashing into their first timeout down 15-10.

After a bad set from Dayton out of the timeout, the ball remained in Loyola’s hand. Dayton then began to find momentum, erasing half their deficit to bring it to an 18-15 set due to three front-court kills. With Loyola leading 21-19 and the set poised to reach a competitive conclusion, Dayton called timeout down 23-20 after a strong kill by Banitt. 

An attack error from the Ramblers’ side gave the Flyers their 21st point. Set point was reached on another Banitt kill, her sixth of the set, sending Dayton into a desperation timeout. Banitt played hero, logging an ace to close the set 25-21, tying the match 1-1.

Set three opened with Banitt on the board first and Dayton exchanging a kill to follow. Two Rambler attack errors ensued, giving Dayton a 3-1 lead in the opening exchange. Loyola evened the set at three off a Barnes kill and Dayton attack error. 

The game remained even with the Flyers and Ramblers trading points. Dayton began to gain momentum with a 5-0 scoring run. Loyola had two attacking errors and Dayton got a kill and back-to-back aces from Moore to take a 16-10 lead.

Dayton remained ahead late, up 20-13. A kill from Dayton’s Almodovar sent Loyola into a timeout, followed by graduate middle blocker Taylor Venuto of Loyola. The Flyers maintained their attack, with the Ramblers scoring four more points and gaining some momentum on a 3-0 run, but it was insufficient. Set three ended 25-18 due to a Loyola service fault. 

Set four was played even until the final moments. Notable scoring runs occurred for Loyola, up 9-6 in the middle of the set from two McNabb kills and a Dayton attack error. McNabb went on to finish the match with ten kills. While McNabb recorded her fourth double-double of the year, Borum recorded her seventh.

Loyola was leading Dayton 23-22 late in set four. Miller’s block assist for the Flyers knotted the set at 23. The Flyers earned a point due to a blocking fault on the Ramblers’ end. Moore of the Flyers ended the match with a kill as they won set four, 25-23. 

Loyola travels to North Carolina Friday, Sept. 29 for its second A-10 opponent Davidson University. First serve is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Featured image by Allison Treanor | The Phoenix

Christopher J. Henry

Christopher J. Henry