Women’s Volleyball Falls to Yale in Final Game of Hampton Inn Invitational

The Ramblers left the Hampton Inn Invitational winless after a 3-1 loss against Yale.

The Loyola women’s volleyball team left the Hampton Inn Invitational winless after a tough 3-1 loss against Yale University on Saturday. 

The Ramblers established an early 2-0 lead in the first set following consecutive serves from third-year outside hitter Bree Borum and kills from fourth-year outside hitter Emily Banitt and second-year middle blocker Ella Ramsay. 

The Yale Bulldogs grabbed the lead shortly after following a kill from the Bulldogs’ first-year right side Betsy Goodenow, making it 6-4 in Yale’s favor. The Ramblers took their first timeout of the set following the point.

The Ramblers weren’t able to establish any momentum as the Bulldogs scored four straight points off kills by Goodenow and third-year middle hitter Gigi Barr. Loyola called their second timeout of the set.  

Out of the break the Ramblers looked significantly more poised. They mounted a substantial comeback after going down 9-16, which included two kills from Borum and two more from fourth-year outside hitter Karlie McNabb. The Bulldogs called their first timeout of the set following the Ramblers’ resurgence, bringing the score to 19-20. 

Despite their efforts, the Ramblers were unable to regain the lead as the Bulldogs ended the set 25-22 following a kill from fourth-year outside hitter Bonnie Bostic.

Head coach Amanda Berkley said she recognized the need to make adjustments for the second set.

“We went from a different offensive system,” Berkley said. “We went from a 5-1, one setter, to two setters. I think that helped distribute some of the swings.”

The adjustments made by Berkley seemed to be working as an emphatic kill by Banitt tied the score at the beginning of set two.

On the following play, Borum assisted a kill from McNabb which gave the Ramblers the lead for the first time since the beginning of the first set. The Bulldogs responded with a kill from Bostic, evening the score immediately.

Loyola established a 18-13 lead towards the middle of the set. Despite this, began building momentum with two straight points off errors by the Ramblers. 

That energy was halted temporarily after a diving save from third-year libero Olivia Lovett which hit the scoreboard, preventing a kill for the Bulldogs. The Ramblers were unable to capitalize off the hustle by Lovett as Bulldogs’ third-year outside hitter Mila Yarich earned the point with an emphatic kill that was just out of the Ramblers’ reach.

On the following two plays, third-year setter Carly Diehl and Yarich were able to record two more kills for Yale, tying the score at 18-18.

Berkley said she believes the lack of communication amongst the team was one of the main issues that has plagued the Ramblers and plans to address it moving forward.

“We’re going to talk a lot about that this week,” Berkley said. “We still haven’t figured that part out yet. We’re going to talk a lot about talking and being loud, especially if there is a question about who is taking the ball. We need to make sure the whole gym knows that, ‘I’m taking the ball.’” 

The set was back and forth from this point on. With the score tied at 27, Yarich extended the set with a great save for the Bulldogs.

The rally went back and forth, but following a great set from Borum, first-year middle blocker Avery DeBlieck recorded a kill, giving Loyola a one point lead and match point.

With the set on the line, an ace from Borum sealed the Ramblers set victory, tying the match at 1-1. 

The beginning of the third set mimicked the preceding one. The Ramblers established a tight lead early on but never reclaimed it after the Bulldogs quickly overtook to lead.

Yale’s tandem of Goodenow and second-year outside hitter Isabella Mendoza proved to be too much for Loyola, as the pair combined for 11 of the 19 total kills by the Bulldogs throughout the third set. A kill from Goodenow brought the third set to an end with a final score of 25-21, putting the Bulldogs up two sets to one.

The Ramblers looked to bounce back in the fourth set. Loyola notched the first point of the set off a kill from Borum. This was matched by Mendoza, whose kill on the following play evaporated the Ramblers’ small lead.

The set was kept extremely close as exciting plays from both sides, including diving saves from Yarich and Banitt, kept the crowd energized. DeBlieck and fifth-year outside hitter Addie Barnes continued to block and contest shots at the net for the Ramblers while Goodenow and Barr continued to attack for the Bulldogs.

The wheels started to fall off for Loyola after tying the set at 14. The issues that plagued them earlier started to appear once again, as several instances of inadequate communication on the defensive end cost the Ramblers several points.

The Bulldogs outscored the Ramblers 11-3 down the stretch, closing out the set and match with a 25-17 victory.

Berkley said the team is focused on moving on from the loss and looking ahead towards conference play.

“I think that’s one way we need to look at it, so we are moving on and moving forward,” Berkley said. “This week we just got to work on all the things that we need to so we’re prepared for Dayton.”

The Loyola women’s volleyball team will play their next game against the University of Dayton on Friday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. at Gentile Arena. 

Featured image by Aidan Cahill | The Phoenix

Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz