MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Loyola University New Orleans volleyball team finished play in the Faulkner Invitational on Saturday, defeating Brenau University 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-18) and Bethel University 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-12).
In the final match against Bethel University (11-8), Gina Gill and Samantha Worsham each had career nights as Loyola (18-11) outlasted the Lady Wildcats in five games, going 4-0 for the weekend.
Gill hammered out a career-high 28 kills while Worsham handed out a career-best 57 assists. The duo combined for 36 digs with Gill finishing with 20.
LU had three other players in double-figures in kills in Kailey Tuthill (13), Sabrina Stansberry (11), and Lindsay Mullinix (10). On defense, Amanda Oldani led with 25 digs, Kaki Johnson had 12, and Tuthill added 10.
The Wolfpack used a 4-0 opening run to take the first set 25-19. Bethel came within two at 16-14, but Loyola put the lead back to four, 18-14, when Mullinix slammed an overpass for a kill. A serving error by the Lady Wildcats would give LU the opening set win.
After falling 25-22 in the second set, Loyola bounced back to take the third game 25-19. With the score tied at 8, a Gill kill and an Oldani ace gave LU a two point edge. The Wolfpack would lead the rest of the way with a pair of blocks ending the match, putting Loyola back up 2-1.
Although LU led late in game four, Bethel came back to even up the match with a 25-23 win. In the final set, the ‘Pack went into the side switch with a 8-4 lead after a Worsham kill. With Loyola up 11-8, Gill scored three kills down the stretch, and then a Stansberry tip touched down for the final point, giving the ‘Pack a 15-12 victory.
For the early match, Loyola had little trouble with Brenau, serving 12 aces while hitting. 340 in the win. The Wolfpack finished with 42 kills versus just 25 from Brenau.
Gill led Loyola with 17 kills, 10 digs, and hit .340. Stansberry hit .850 with six kills and Alex Blitzer led with four aces. Worsham dished out 28 assists.
Loyola grabbed a 7-3 advantage in set one, then extended their lead to 13-7 after a kill by Ashley England. An ace by Worsham gave LU a 21-11 lead before Blitzer ended the set at 25-15 with an ace.
In game two, Gill spiked a kill, forcing an early Golden Tiger timeout at 7-1. LU continued to pour it on, going up 14-5 on an Oldani ace. Brenau trimmed the lead down to 15-11 after an ace of their own, but the Maroon and Gold would go on to take the set 25-19, clinching the win on a Stansberry kill.
Brenau University (3-19) started the final game with the first four points, and held the lead until Blitzer served consecutive aces to tie the score at 12. The ‘Pack then went on a 6-0 run, fueled by three kills from Gill to go up 22-16. A setting error by Brenau gave Loyola the 25-18 victory, taking the match in three.
Loyola returns to action on Tuesday, October 12, when they host Belhaven University at The Den. The SSAC match is slated for 7 p.m.