Loyola Sweeps LIU in a Quick Three Sets

Redshirt third-year Parker Van Buren stands out in win for the Ramblers.

The Loyola men’s volleyball team beat the Long Island University Sharks in three sets after putting up big team numbers, leading to a noteworthy team win Jan. 26 in Gentile Arena. 

Loyola came out ahead with a three-point lead early on. The Ramblers struck first after a long rally in the opening exchange with a kill from first-year outside hitter Jake Read. Then, after the set in a point-for-point sequence, redshirt third-year outside hitter Parker Van Buren and Read forced a timeout with two quick kills to put LIU down 15-11.

Out of the break, a Rambler serve hit the net, giving the Sharks the service as they put a kill up. In response, with his sixth kill of the set, Van Buren gave Loyola the 17-12 lead and set up momentum for a push-down kill from second-year setter Ryan McElligott.

Loyola began to break away at 21-16, forcing a second LIU timeout after Van Buren and first-year outside hitter Daniel Fabikovic registered a pair of kills. Shortly after the play break, the Ramblers reached set point from two quick kill sequences by Fabikovic and third-year middle blocker Nicodemus Meyer.

But the Sharks, hanging on, shaved the Loyola lead down as the Ramblers struggled with two service mistakes in Loyola’s backcourt.

After the game, Van Buren said what it means to be on his team.

“Being a voice of reason when things aren’t going well, or chaotic is the main thing I focus on and kind of upping my energy and upping my drive, I guess, a little bit to kind of take weight off of other guys shoulders,” Van Buren said

LIU rallied off a kill and an ace before falling in set one 25-21 after a failed serve from their backcourt.

“The guy in those situations that people look to, I expect it and need to succeed and show them exactly what happens in these situations because I’ve been there.”

Set two mirrored the previous pace as the Sharks and Ramblers went back-and-forth on each side, registering a few kills and tying 3-3 in a point frenzy opening exchange. The Sharks then made two service mistakes to put Loyola up by two. 

LIU fell into more service trouble as the Ramblers picked up two kills from Read and McElligott, sending the crowd to its feet and the Sharks into an early set two timeouts down 10-6.

After a few back-and-forth plays, McElligott registered the first ace of the night as Loyola went up 14-7. Van Buren finished the sequence with two kills and a standout solo block, forcing LIU into another timeout with a 10-point deficit.

Loyola’s set point came shortly after the timeout and in breakaway fashion. Kills were put on the board in succession from Fabikovic, Read and redshirt first-year opposite hitter Miller Trubey.   

A final attempt from the Sharks came as third-year middle blocker Kasey Clouet put up an ace for the LIU side, but a kill from McElligott set up Trubey who put away set two 25-12 with a kill.

Keeping their foot on the gas, Loyola opened the third set ahead after an even opening sequence. A 3-0 run was established through Fabikovic and McElligott kills to set Trubey up for an ace to put it all together. After another favorable Loyola sequence, Trubey again put Loyola up 7-5 with two more, finishing with eight kills on the night in 11 attempts.

In the following sequence, the Sharks cut down their lead to three after Loyola had service trouble. Trubey added to his highlight reel as he registered two aces in a row, sending the Sharks into their corner to talk things over, now behind 15-10.

As set three ended, a tandem of messy plays from each side kept the Ramblers ahead with a cushion from a strong early lead. A kill from fourth-year LIU opposite hitter Eddy Alexandre cut it to 20-16.

In the night’s final sequence, second-year outside hitter Vanja Petrasinovic — who transferred from Loyola to LIU last year — registered a kill before two services came from the LIU side directly after. A final kill from Trubey gave Loyola set point, which set up fourth-year outside hitter Colton Brooks to complete the sweep 25-20 with a kill. 

Van Buren led the team with 11 kills, and McElligott finished with 27 assists. Loyola hit over .500 on the night with 99 digs in all three sets.

The Ramblers return to Gentile Arena to face The Ohio State University Feb. 9 with broadcasting on NBC Sports Chicago.

Featured image by Megan Dunn | The Loyola Phoenix

Christopher J. Henry

Christopher J. Henry