NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola volleyball team battled tough against NCAA competitor West Alabama, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Wolfpack lost a tough match 3-1 (13-25, 25-15, 24-26, ), in The DEN Tuesday night. Loyola is now 13-8 on the season while West Alabama improves to 14-7.
“We had a rough start,” said head coach Tommy Harold. “We put ourselves in a big hole, but fought our way back in the second set, however when it got to the third and fourth set we just could not get it done when the game was on the line. But I liked the way we responded after a tough start in the first set. We really had a hard time finding our rhythm, but then we were able to come out and have a lopsided game the other way in the second set.”
Freshman O’Neal McMullan paced the ‘Pack with a match-high 14 kills and two service aces. Lauren Brand, also a freshman, also added seven kills. Junior SSAC Player of the Week Samantha Worsham continued her excellent play with her 12th double-double on the year dishing out 24 assists and tallying 11 digs. Senior Amanda Oldani led the defense with 18 digs.
Senior Olivia Drew and junior Chanel Davis delivered eleven kills a piece for the West Alabama Tigers. Freshman Chelsea Pain had 20 assists while senior Alexis McHale added 17. Junior Tazra Pitts blocked an impressive 5 attacks solo, and senior Casey Byrnes garnered an impressive match-high 27 kidgs
The Tigers took the first set 25-13. The set went back and forth until the West Alabama led 11-10. From then on, the Tigers went on an 11-1 scoring ramange setting the score at 22-11. West Alabama would finish the set with two decisive kills from Hilary Lobenstein.
The second set started just like the first. Loyola and West Alabama remained within two points until Tazra Pitts served three straight points to put the Tigers up 11-7. However, the ‘Pack would not go down quietly. Oldani stepped up delivering two service aces to tie the score at 12 all. After a West Alabama timeout, Loyola continued to storm serving five straight points increasing their lead 18-14. The ‘Pack finished strong with a 7-1 run winning the set 25-15.
The third set began much like the fisrt two. The Wolfpack and Tigers remained within two points of one another, going back and forth. This time, however, the ‘Pack could not contain the Tigers once it got down to the end. Sadie Beam delivered a critical ace giving them the edge 24-21. Loyola charged back tying it back up at 24, but could not hold on as West Alabama took the third set 26-24.
Typical to the pace of the match, the fourth set started just like the first three. It was a close set up until Loyola pulled away 14-10. The Tigers fought back, and then Loyola would pull away again. The Wolfpack had the edge at the end, but simply could not hold on and eventually fell 27-25.
“It’s about the process, not about the outcomes,” added Harold. “We set ourselves back tonight, but we are still going to run the same systems. We just need to pay a little more attention to detail and focus more in the gym.”
The ‘Pack continues action at home this Thursday, Oct. 13 when they host Xavier at 7 p.m. C ST. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children. The match will broadcast via livestream.com at http://www.livestream.com/loyolawolfpack. Fans can also follow the Wolfpack on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/loyolawolfpack) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/loyolawolfpack).