CATONSVILLE, Md. - Freshmen led or tied for the team-lead in kills, digs, service aces and blocks on in Loyola University Maryland’s season-opener Friday afternoon, and the Greyhounds swept Delaware State University, 25-18, 25-19, 25-17, to begin play at the Charm City Challenge.
Zoe Pawlak posted a match-high 12 kills with a .385 hitting percentage, and Erin Cunningham tallied 13 digs for Loyola. Molly Jarvis matched Haley Puddy with three total blocks, and she also tied Megan Mondon with three service aces for the Greyhounds.
Loyola will play host UMBC at 7 p.m. in its next tournament match.
The Greyhounds did not trail in the first or third sets, and they were behind during just 13 points overall, all in the second. Loyola hit .268 (39-13-97) during the match, while it held Delaware State to a .078 (23-16-90) clip.
On the defensive side, Loyola had 40 digs to the Hornets’ 32, led by Cunningham’s 13 in her collegiate debut. Lauren Youngblood matched her career-high with eight, and Mondon and Molly Werts both had six for the Greyhounds. Loyola’s serve-receive was also efficient, yielding only two aces to Delaware State.
Five different Loyola players were involved in the team’s six blocks, led by Puddy and Jarvis who were both in on three.
Loyola hit just .162 in the first set, but it scored 9 of 10 points during a stretch to lead 18-9 on Puddy’s solo block of Sydney Armbrister. Delaware State would get within five, 22-17, on an Armbrister ace, but Jarvis came back with a Loyola kill to sideout.
The Hornets took an early 6-4 lead in the second set, but a Kazalas came back with a kill to sideout out of a Loyola timeout. The frame would be tied nine times, and the lead changed on seven occasions thereafter until Delaware State went up, 16-14, on a Greyhounds’ ball-handling error.
Loyola sided out on a Morgan Tennant service error, putting the serve in the hands of Youngblood at 16-15. She immediate tied the set with an ace; Jarvis and Kazalas then locked up a block or Armbrister to put Loyola up, 17-16.
The Greyhounds would not relinquish that lead as Youngblood served eight points in a row, including two aces and three points on Pawlak kills.
Loyola quickly built a 9-3 advantage in the third set, never trailing and going up six on a n Ernst-Jarvis block. Delaware State made it a four-point margin, 15-11, but that was as close as the final frame would be.