BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Loyola University New Orleans volleyball team opened up play in the BSC Fall Classic against host Birmingham Southern on Friday night and were defeated 3-0 (23-25, 23-25, 16-25) at Bill Bates Coliseum.
After taking a pair of close sets to grab a 2-0 lead, Birmingham Southern (13-2) used a 6-0 run to take a commanding 16-9 lead in the final game. The Wolfpack were never able to recover as BSC went on to take the victory in straight sets.
Loyola (9-7) was led on offense by junior Gina Gill with 15 kills with sophomore Kailey Tuthill adding eight. Freshman Sabrina Stansberry and junior Ashley England chipped in with six kills each. On defense, junior Amanda Oldani led with 26 digs and also served three aces. Sophomore Samantha Worsham assisted on 35 of 38 Wolfpack kills.
The Maroon and Gold were down early in the opening frame when a double block put the game at 11-6, forcing a Loyola timeout. The ‘Pack withered the deficit to 17-16 following a Tuthill kill and two aces by Gill. Loyola then tied the set at 23 on a Stansberry kill, but the Panthers answered with two kills to take the game 25-23.
The Wolfpack found themselves at a slight disadvantage in set two until Oldani evened the score at 9-9 with her second ace of the game. With the game tied at 16’s, Birmingham Southern scored the next four points, but Loyola fought back to knot the set again at 21-21 on Oldani’s third ace. The Panthers regained the lead and then finished off Loyola with a kill, taking game two 25-23.
Birmingham Southern had two players in double digits for kills, led by Alex Bothe with 13 while Hope Harris finished with 10.
The Wolfpack wrap up play in the Fall Classic on Saturday with a pair of matches against Crescent City opponents. Loyola will face Xavier University at 12:30 p.m. before a rematch with UNO, scheduled for 4 p.m.