Loyola-Chicago Advances to MIVA Semifinals With Win Over IPFW


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Chicago, Ill. - Four Ramblers posted double-figure kills as fourth-seeded Loyola University Chicago (17-13) won an exciting 3-2 (30-27, 28-30, 30-27, 25-30, 20-18) contest over the No. 5 seed IPFW Mastodons (12-15).

The victory marks the first time Loyola has topped IPFW in post-season action. With the win, the Ramblers advance to the MIVA Semifinals at Ohio State on Thursday.

The Ramblers took an early 7-4 advantage on a kill by Joe Guntli, but the lead was short-lived as IPFW stormed back to even the score at 13-all on a Jason Yhost service ace. Loyola fought back and took a 19-17 lead on an Ian Anderson kill. However, the Mastodons rallied and tied the score, yet again, on a Rambler miscue (21-21). The Ramblers pulled ahead of the visiting Mastodons, 29-25, on an ace by Kris Berzins and held on to take game one by a score of 30-27.

Game two was much like the first, as the two teams matched each other point-for-point until they were tied at 22-apiece. A kill by C.J. Macias gave the Mastodons a two-point lead that they would never relinquish as IPFW pulled out a 30-28 victory.

Loyola came out determined in the third game as George Kamberos put the Ramblers up, 10-6, on back-to-back service aces. The hosts led the rest of the way as Loyola stretched its lead to seven (23-16) on a kill by Nick Lamoureux and put the game away, 30-27.

The fourth game was a battle throughout, as the conference foes were tied 21 times and exchanged leads eight times. A kill by Yhost broke the final tie, giving IPFW a 24-23 advantage. The Mastodons closed out game four on a 6-2 run to win 30-25 forcing a fifth and deciding game.

The Mastodons came out swinging in game five as they took a 3-0 advantage on a kill and a pair of Rambler attack errors to start the game. The relentless Ramblers fought back and evened the score at 6-6 on a kill by Michael Morice. A kill by Anderson pushed the game to match-point (14-13), but Yhost would counter with a kill of his own to knot the score at 14-all. The Ramblers would push the game to match-point a half dozen times before closing the book on IPFW's season with a 20-18 victory.

The Ramblers were led by Lamoureux and Anderson who each slammed a match-high 21 kills. Berzins contributed 14 kills and five digs, while Morice notched 13 kills for Loyola. Redshirt setter Mike Hutz registered a career-high 77 assists and recorded six digs in the victory.

Yhost led IPFW with 20 kills and Macias recorded 14 kills and 12 digs.

Loyola returns to action on Thursday, April 24 when they go head-to-head with top-seeded Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio at the MIVA Semifinals. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m.

Article courtesy of Loyola-Chicago athletics.

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