Women’s Volleyball Falls to Red Line Rival DePaul

Women’s volleyball fell to DePaul in straight sets.

The Loyola women’s volleyball team (2-8) fell to their red-line rival, the DePaul University Blue Demons (25-21, 26-24, 26-24) in their Sept. 15 game hosting the second annual Hampton Invitational Three incredibly close sets featured 30 ties and lead changes. 

The Blue Demons opened the match with consecutive block assists from first-year middle blocker Megan Scholz and fourth-year outside hitter Jill Pressley, hopping to a quick 2-0 lead. After a previous Loyola service error, the Ramblers responded with back-to-back kills from fifth-year outside hitter Addie Barnes, bringing the score to 3-2.

Following the opening exchange, Loyola went on a 3-0 scoring run off a block assist from fourth-year outside hitter Karlee McNabb and second-year middle blocker Ella Ramsey. This play followed a kill from fourth-year right side Emily Bannit and an ace from third-year setter Bree Borum, putting the Ramblers up 9-6 in a competitive team opening. 

The set continued at a tie until point 13. Another service error from the Ramblers gave the Blue Demons the serve and provided a momentum switch for a kill to be registered for DePaul, putting them ahead 15-13. 

Points were exchanged until DePaul found momentum putting them ahead 20-18 after a block assist from DePaul’s Katelynn Oxley and Maggie Jones. The Ramblers headed to their corner for a timeout. The Ramblers tied the set at 20 on a kill registered from McNabb and Depaul’s attack error out of the timeout. 

In response, the Blue Demons went ahead at 22 behind two quick plays for a block assist and kill, leading to a second Rambler timeout. Out of their second timeout, a kill from Bannit put Loyola at 21, but a solo block from Scholz and an attack error from the Ramblers front court gave the Blue Demons set point. DePaul put the first set away 25-21 on an ace from Jones.

DePaul opened the second set ahead 6-2 after two attack errors and a service error from the Loyola side. The Blue Demons recorded two putback kills and an ace, sending the Ramblers in for a timeout early in set two. 

Out of the timeout, two kills from Borum and one from Ramsey brought the Ramblers within two, but errors from Loyola’s attack and service trouble followed these exchanges, putting DePaul back up 9-5. The Ramblers rallied the second set back to even ground at 10. A kill from fourth-year middle blocker Anna Feldkamp brought the crowd to their feet and sent DePaul to the corner for a timeout. 

The set continued point for point with 10 tied scores at this stage. The Blue Demons eventually went ahead late in the set, 22-20, rallying back from 18 thanks to four consecutive kills. Loyola followed with a timeout.

Late set drama occurred as the Ramblers tied it up at 22 off a Bannit kill and an overturned touching call which gave Loyola momentum, now ahead 23. DePaul was initially given the point but it was later registered as a Loyola block assist after a thorough review.

An ace from Barnes gave the Ramblers set point, but DePaul wouldn’t back down. As the crowd became a factor, the Blue Demons fought back to tie the set at 24 again. A quick putback kill gave DePaul their first point in a win-by-two situation. The Blue Demons took set two 26-24 on a Rambler attack error. 

Errors in Loyola services and attack were critical determinants in all three sets.

“We can’t give that many points to the other team,” head coach Amanda Berkley said. “I think we’re going to learn that, but DePaul’s a very good team. I thought they came tonight and competed well. I think there’s a lot of work we’ve got to do.”

Set three was played evenly on both sides, with neither team ahead until the final moments of action. Borum and Ramsey sent DePaul straight into a timeout, topping a surge of Loyola momentum with a powerful block assist with the score at 23-22.

DePaul sealed the match on a third narrow set, winning 26-24 off two momentum-driven kills. 

Bree Borum finished the match with her first career triple-double with 10 kills, 28 assists and 10 digs. She ended the night with a .833 hitting percentage, the highest of her team in the match. 

“I’d say it was all my teammates just setting me up for success,” Borum said. “Everyone is executing their roles. Everyone does their job, so it makes my job a lot easier and a lot more fun to do the communication, always telling me what they see and how I can make it better for them.”

Loyola returns to the floor of Gentile Arena in conference Sept. 23 to face the University of Dayton. First serve is scheduled for 6 pm, with broadcast information yet to be announced. 

Featured image by Nick Huck-Reymond | The Phoenix

Christopher J. Henry

Christopher J. Henry