#12 Loyola Upsets #3 BYU In Five-Set Slug-Fest

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | January 06th, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, MIVA, MPSF, News


  • #12 Loyola def. #3 BYU, 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12)
  • Loyola moves to 1-0; BYU falls to 0-1
  • Provo, Utah
  • Attendance: 3339
  • Box score

PROVO, Utah – Despite seven Rambler players having flu-like symptoms, #12 Loyola took the season-opener from host #3 BYU in an epic five-set victory (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12). The win for Loyola was the first opener over a top-5 opponent since 2014, and was also the highest ranked season-opening road victory in program history for the Ramblers.

Loyola saw multiple career nights. Dan Leclair, in his first-ever match at the opposite position, had career-highs of 15 kills, 7 digs and 7 blocks while hitting .538 on the night. Paul Narup had a career-high 12 kills on 14 errorless swings for a staggering .857 hit percentage. Narup also blocked 7 balls. Collin Mahan was the third player with double-digit kills, contributing 13 kills, 6 digs and a team-high 2 aces against the Cougars. Setter Garrett Zolg, in his collegiate debut, had the match’s lone double-double with 46 assists and 13 digs. Jeff Jendryk had a match-high 8 blocks as the Ramblers outblocked the Cougars 16.5-10.

BYU had its chances, but head coach Shawn Olmstead was not happy. “We weren’t communicating when it mattered and there was some hesitation tonight and that’s unfortunate,” Olmstead stated. “It’s the first match of the season and we’ve got to go from here.” Leading the Cougar attack was Gabi Garcia Fernandez with a match-high 23 kills to go along with 7 digs, 3 blocks and an ace. Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga brought his best match with career-highs of 15 kills and 3 aces. Brenden Sander, younger brother of US Men’s National Team member Taylor Sander, rounded out the double-digit kill performers for BYU with 14 kills of his own. Sander also added 4 digs, 3 blocks and an ace.


Courtesy of Loyola Rambler Athletics

PROVO, Utah (January 5, 2018) 

In Short
Despite having seven players under the weather with flu-like symptoms, No. 13 Loyola University Chicago (1-0) earned a huge season-opening victory by outlasting No. 3 BYU, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12 tonight at Smith Fieldhouse. Playing his first match at opposite, junior Dane Leclair had a career night in a true team victory, tallying 15 kills, seven digs and seven blocks, as the Ramblers hit .339 for the match.

How It Happened
Loyola showed no ill effects in set one, earning a 25-22 victory, as it hit .423 (14-3-26) with seven blocks. Collin Mahan tallied four of his 13 kills on the night in the first set, while LeClair tallied three kills and three blocks. Loyola stormed out to a 14-8 lead before BYU closed the gap, but the Ramblers held on for a 25-22 decision.

BYU used a 5-1 run to open up a 14-10 lead in set two and take control of play. Loyola refused to go down without a fight however, and a kill from Jeff Jendryk capped a 3-0 spurt that brought the Ramblers within a point, at 17-16. But, after the teams traded scores, the Cougars tallied consecutive points to push their lead back to three points and the Ramblers never got closer than two the remainder of the set.

Loyola took charge of set three thanks to a 6-2 run that featured three kills from Paul Narup, to turn a 9-all tie into a 13-9 lead.  BYU trimmed the Ramblers’ lead and got within 19-17, but back-to-back kills from Mahan and Leclair provided some cushion and Loyola would close out a 25-20 victory on freshman Thomas Kovanic‘sfirst career kill.

Set four was a back-and-forth battle, with neither team leading by more than two points the entire set. A block by Jendryk and Garrett Zolg drew the Ramblers even at 23, but the Cougars tallied the final two points of the set for a 25-23 victory that forced a fifth set.

After BYU opened the scoring in set five, Loyola tallied the next two points to grab the lead and never looked back on the way to a 15-12 victory that gave the Ramblers their first-ever win over the Cougars in Provo. Loyola saw a 10-7 lead get whittled down to a single tally (10-9), but a Narup kill followed by a Cougar hitting error pushed the lead back to three and gave the Ramblers control.

A Look At The Numbers

  • Leclair hit .538 (15-1-26) on the evening.
  • Mahan contributed 13 kills, six digs and a pair of aces, while Narup, who hit a whopping .857 (12-0-14), matched a career high with 12 kills to go with seven blocks.
  • Zolg was impressive in his first collegiate match, dishing out 46 assists and adding 13 digs and three blocks.
  • Jendryk put up six kills and eight rejections, and Ryan Jamison, who was making his first career start, collected seven kills and six blocks.
  • This marks the first time since 2014, when it knocked off No. 1 UC Irvine in five sets, that Loyola has opened a season with a victory over a top-five team. It also is the highest-ranked team the Ramblers have ever defeated on the road in a season opener.
  • Gabi Garcia Fernandez led BYU with 23 kills.

Courtesy of BYU Athletics

PROVO, Utah — The No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team dropped its season opener to No. 13 Loyola-Chicago in five sets (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“We weren’t communicating when it mattered and there was some hesitation tonight and that’s unfortunate,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “It’s the first match of the season and we’ve got to go from here.”

Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the team with 23 kills, seven digs and three blocks. Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga recorded a career-high 15 kills, while adding five digs and a career-high three aces. Brenden Sander collected 14 kills. Leo Durkintallied 45 assists and 10 digs for a double-double while Miki Jauhiainencontributed six blocks.

The Cougars (0-1) got on the board first in set five, but the Ramblers (1-0) went on to grab an early 8-5 advantage. Sander answered with a kill of his own to start a BYU run that was followed by a Fernandez kill to bring the set within one, 8-7. Two errors extended Loyola-Chicago’s lead to 10-7 and then the Ramblers continued on to take the set 15-12, earning the match.

In set one, Loyola-Chicago grabbed the first point and the two teams battled evenly before the Ramblers went on a three-point run, taking a 7-3 lead and forcing BYU to call a timeout.

Fernandez was involved in two-consecutive points for the Cougars to bring them within three, 10-7. Price Jarman got his first kill of the night and a service ace by Fa’agata-Tufuga put BYU within one, 16-15. A service error by Loyola-Chicago tied the game at 22-all before two attack errors gave the Ramblers set one, 25-22.

BYU took an early 3-1 lead in set two and was able to stay on top until Loyola-Chicago took its first and only lead of the set, 7-6. A kill by Fernandez and two service aces by Fa’agata-Tufuga returned the lead to the Cougars, 9-8.

After consistently keeping a lead over the Ramblers, a kill by Fernandez forced a timeout, as BYU had a 20-17 advantage. Fa’agata-Tufuga scored two points in a row to keep the Cougars on top, 22-18. At set point, Fernandez finished his attack, giving the Cougars set two, 25-21.

Set three began with both teams taking a turn at putting a point on the scoreboard. After being tied at 7-all, Loyola-Chicago scored two-consecutive points to take an early 9-7 lead. After falling behind 16-11, a balanced BYU attack, involving points by four different players, brought the Cougars within two, 18-16. The Ramblers continued on to win set three, 25-20.

Neither team was able to take a controlling lead in the beginning of set four. A kill by Sander started BYU on a three-point run, earning an 11-10 lead. The Cougars came out of a timeout and saw kills by Jarman and Fernandez as they evened the game at 14.

A service ace by Fernandez put BYU on top 21-20, forcing a Loyola-Chicago timeout. In the final points of the set, Fernandez continued to score two more and assisted on a block with Jauhiainen, giving BYU set four, 25-23.

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