Sept. 5, 2009
Annapolis, Md. - Loyola held on until the very end, but errors proved costly for the Greyhounds (1-5) in Annapolis, as Towson (4-2) topped the `Hounds 25-23 in the fourth set of Friday night's Battle of Baltimore match at Navy's Wesley Brown Field house. The Tigers defeated Loyola 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 19-25, 23-25).
"We lost 3-1 with very good play. It was an extremely well played match," said head coach Scott Pennewill. "We got a couple reception errors at times when we needed to swing the momentum our way and we gave it back to them."
"The offense picked up nicely with Nina and Katie. That was nice to see on that left side," Pennewill said. "We got out-blocked and that's going to happen. We need more production out of the middle."
There were just three blocks between middle blocker Karlee Woodward and setter Aubrey Kirven. Despite her lack of height, Pennewill says Kirven is a prime example of the production the team needs at the net.
"Height doesn't matter if you can't get to the ball," Pennewill said. "Aubrey, bless her height, is doing the best she can."
The blocking game will be put to the test Saturday at Towson, when Loyola takes on the ultra-tall Terrapins. The average height of Maryland's blocking line is between around 6-foot-three and even its liberos measure up to 5-foot-nine.
"Maryland is going to be a handful," Pennewill said. "They're going to raise the net a few inches."
Maryland went down in five games Friday, to Towson. The Terps were ahead 2-1 but the Tigers rallied to a 3-2 victory.
"Maryland self-destructed against Towson," Pennewill said. "They don't strike me as an extremely mentally tough team, but we have to play smart. If you play stupid it's going to be terminal."
Pennewill said he was impressed with his team's 1-1 day. He feels the young players are continuing to improve with each match and the veterans have performed each time they have been called on.
"It was a good outing," Pennewill said. "We definitely can build upon this and I'm seeing the improvement."
The Battle of Baltimore continues Saturday with Loyola taking on Navy at 12:30 p.m. and Maryland at 5 p.m. Both matches take place at Towson Center Arena.