MOBILE, Ala. - The Loyola volleyball team picked up their 10th Southern States Athletic Conference victory of the season Tuesday with a 3-1 win (26-28, 25-20, 25-19, 25-13) over the University of Mobile from H. Austill Pharr Gymnasium. The win brings the Wolfpack to 21-10 overall and 10-4 against league opponents, while the loss drops the Rams to 23-12 on the season and 7-6 in the SSAC.
“Tonight’s match was a nice win for the team,” said head Tommy Harold. “It puts us solidly in second place on our side of the conference. The win provides some momentum that hopefully we can carry over into the tournament.”
The win puts the Wolfpack on a six-match winning streak. Junior Kailey Tuthill topped all Loyola attackers with 11 kills. Freshman O’Neal McMullan followed closely behind with 10, while also contributing two service aces. Freshman Lauren Brand added nine kills, and senior Ashley England had six. Sophomore middle blocker Sabrina Stansberry produced eight kills, while hitting .727 percent with no attack errors. Stansberry was also solid at the net getting a hand in three of Loyola’s six blocks. Junior setter Samantha Worsham worked her magic dishing out a match-high 25 assists and 13 digs. She also picked up five kills. Defensively, senior Amanda Oldani dug 11 attacks, and freshman Becca Burnett dug nine.
The Rams got off to a hot start, taking the first four points of the match. The Wolfpack quickly bounced back taking the next five points to take the lead. The set would go back and for the next few points before Loyola closed within four at 11-7. Two Mobile kills and a couple costly Loyola errors ended the run as the Rams tied the set at 13-13. At that point, the set contained nine ties and three lead changes. With the match tied at 23 a-piece, the ‘Pack committed a costly service error giving the Rams the upper hand as they eventually pulled off to win set one 28-25.
The second set was close in the opening stages, but the Rams seemed cool and collected for the set’s first half leading the majority of the way. However, the scrappy Wolfpack crawled the way back into the set with back-to-back kills from Tuthill and Stansberry to tie the set up at 16-16. After a Mobile timeout, the set took a turn for the better for Loyola as four Wolfpack players contributed with kills to end the set with a 25-20 win.
Mobile came out blazing from all ends as they jumped on the ‘Pack 1-5. It was their biggest lead since the beginning of the first set. But just like the first set, Loyola came back tying it at 6-6 with kills from Tuthill and England. Mobile slowly pulled ahead taking another four point lead. However, the Wolfpack smelled a comeback. A Burnett ace tied the set up at 15 all. The pace shifted in Loyola’s favor as Tuthill and England sealed the deal with critical late-set kills.
The ‘Pack used the momentum to gain a big lead early in the fourth set, going ahead 11-3 after an attack error by Mobile. The Rams won the next couple of points but never got within six points as the Wolfpack dominated the set 25-13.
Mobile outside hitter Kiara Gay led all attackers with 16 kills. Medlody Tenny and Reagin Boggs combined for all 43 Rams’ assists. Katy McCollister led the Mobile defense with 16 digs, and Alison Kenney added 14.
The ‘Pack travels next weekend for their final road trip of the season when they head to Tougaloo, Miss. The Wolfpack will face off with the Bulldogs Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2:00 p.m. (CST). Fans can follow all Loyola athletics teams on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/loyolawolfpack) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/loyolawolfpack). For additional information, please call (504)864-PACK.