(New Orleans, La.) After starting the season with eight matches on the road, the Loyola New Orleans Volleyball team returned home on Wednesday to host the Loyola Tri-Match. The Wolf Pack left The Den with a split, falling to DI Alcorn State 3-2 (25-16,22-25,25-23,23-25,14-16), before defeating Southern University New Orleans 3-0 (25-22,25-17,25-24).
Following the tri-match, Loyola now sits at 4-6 on the year.
Match One: Alcorn State 3, Loyola 2
The Wolf Pack jumped out to an early lead in set one, scoring five-unanswered points to go up 5-0. Loyola then extended the lead to 10-2 thanks to a 5-2 run. The Braves would cut the deficit to five at 12-7 but the Wolf Pack stayed focused and stretched the advantage to 18-11. Alcorn State tried to remain in striking distance, but the home team would outscore the Braves 7-5 down the stretch to take the first set 25-16.
The second saw both teams battle to an 8-8 tie before Loyola put up three-straight to take the 11-8 advantage. The score would tie five more times down the stretch as both clubs refused to go down easily. At 19-19, the Braves put up six points to the Wolf Pack’s three to take the second set 25-22 and knot the match at 1-1.
Loyola found itself down 3-0 to start the third set, but a 6-3 run by the Wolf Pack tied the score at 9-9 to bring the home team back into the match. A 5-1 run later in the set put Alcorn State up 16-14 but four-straight by Loyola gave the Wolf Pack the lead back at 18-16. The teams exchanged blows for the remainder of the set and with the score knotted at 23-23, Loyola used a 2-0 run to close out the Braves to take the set 25-23 and the 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set was neck-and-neck throughout and the score read 20-20 in the final moments. The visitors managed to hang on, ending the set on a 5-3 run to earn the slim 25-23 win to knot the match at 2-2 and force a fifth set.
Loyola got out to a 13-10 lead in the fifth set and looked like it was going to take the decisive set to win the match. At 14-13, the Wolf Pack were just one point away from claiming victory in the first match, before Alcorn State put up three-straight to earn the 16-13 come-from-behind victory in the set to take the match 3-2.
Fr. MB Allison Hartmann (Slidell, La./Pope John Paul II) led the Wolf Pack with 13 kills and a team-high three blocks. Fr. S Maddie Huekels (Dyer, Ind./Marian Catholic) dished out 16 helpers and added a Loyola-best nine digs in the loss.
Match Two: Loyola 3, Southern University New Orleans 0
The first set proved to a dogfight throughout, as the home team held the slim 21-17 lead late. The Lady Knights cut the deficit to two at 22-20 but the Wolf Pack remained unfazed and kept their focus en route to the 25-22 victory.
With Loyola down 12-6 to start the second set, the Wolf Pack turned to Huekels’ serving skills to get them back in the set. With Huekels serving it up, Loyola went on an impressive 10-0 run to take the lead back at 16-12. Southern University New Orleans was unable to rebound from the huge run and the Wolf Pack cruised to the 25-17 win to go up 2-0.
Looking to sweep, Loyola used a 5-0 run to take the commanding 18-10 lead in the third set. The Wolf Pack kept the Lady Knights at bay for the remainder of the set, not allowing the visitors to get any closer than nine, to take the 25-14 win and the 3-0 victory in the match.
Fr. MB Jordan Davis (Litchfield Park, Ariz./Millennium) paced the Loyola offense with nine kills, while adding a team-high three blocks. Fr. DS/OH Breanna Stevenson (Desoto, Texas/Desoto) scooped up seven digs, while Huekels finished with eight helpers. So. S Lindsay Ulfig (Saline, Mich./Malone) recorded a team-high four service aces to go along with six assists, four digs and two blocks.
The Wolf Pack return to The Den on Friday, September 11, to kick off SSAC play against Dalton State (Ga.) at 6:00 p.m.