FORT WORTH, Texas - The Loyola University New Orleans volleyball team opened their 2010 campaign on Friday in the Wesleyan Hughes Volleyball Classic, knocking off Brenau 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-17) and Southwest Assemblies of God 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-18, 25-15) before dropping the night cap to No. 8 UT-Brownsville 3-1 (8-25, 25-21, 15-25, 17-25.
In the morning match against Brenau, Loyola finished with a .406 hitting percentage to dominate the first game, winning 25-13.
For the second set, Loyola overcame a 5-0 deficit by outscoring the Golden Tigers 16-5. Brenau was able to close the gap to a single point on two different occasions, but three straight attack errors gave Loyola a 25-19 victory.
In the final game, Brenau took their first lead at 13-12 before Loyola put together a 7-0 run. The ‘Pack held a comfortable lead the rest of the way, taking the match 3-0.
Gina Gill led the Wolfpack with 13 kills. Kailey Tuthill and Lindsay Mullinix chipped in seven kills each. Samantha Worsham dished out 27 assists while Amanda Oldani led with 11 digs.
Against SW Assemblies, the ‘Pack dropped the second game after taking the first set 25-20. With the matched evened at 1-1, Gill scored two of her team-high 19 kills to put Loyola up 19-13. The Wolfpack lead grew to as much as eight before taking the game 25-18.
With the fourth game tied at 13-13, Loyola closed out the Lions with a 12-2 run which included the final seven points.
Gill had her first double-double of the early season, racking up 15 digs to go along with her 19 kills. Mullinix finished with nine kills and three blocks. Worsham tallied 38 assists, Oldani had 20 digs, and Tuthill served four aces.
For the final match of the night, UT-Brownsville, rated eighth in the NAIA Preseason Top 25 Poll, finished game one with an impressive .560 hitting percentage on their way to an easy 25-8 win.
Loyola bounced back in the second game, taking the set 25-21. The ‘Pack trailed 11-7 early on until a kill by Gill sparked an 8-0 run. Worsham served seven consecutive points in the span which included three aces. Loyola held the lead the rest of the way to even the match at one game a piece.
UT-Brownsville proved to be too much however, taking the final two sets 25-15 and 25-17. Up 14-12 in game four, Loyola ‘s attempt to even the match was spoiled by a Scorpion 8-0 run as they went on take the match 3-1.
Gill led Loyola with 11 kills. Worsham picked up a double-double with 21 assists and 10 digs. On defense, Oldani dug 13 attacks while Mullinix had four blocks.
Loyola (2-1) wraps up action at the Hughes Classic on Saturday with two matches. The first game starts at 9:00 A.M. against Mid-American Christian and the ‘Pack finish up at 3:00 P.M. against host Texas Wesleyan.