PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Loyola University Maryland volleyball trailed North Carolina Central University, 11-6, in the deciding fifth set, but the Greyhounds scored nine of the set's final 10 points to pull out a 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12, victory to close their stay at the UMES Fall Fling sponsored by Courtyard.
Loyola's win salvaged a split for Saturday's two matches as the Greyhounds were on the other end of a late rally in their first match.
In a match that started at 12 noon and saw an 18-minute delay due to a power failure in the gymnasium, Loyola led the University of Maryland Eastern Shore 11-8 in the fifth set, but the host Eagles scored the stanza's final seven points for an 18-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11, victory.
Loyola (5-6 overall) led North Carolina Central two sets to one after hitting .298 combined to win the second and third sets, but the Eagles rallied to win the fourth and force the fifth.
Kelsey Murphy registered one of her match-high 27 kills to put North Carolina Central ahead, 8-5, in the fifth, but an Eagles service error pulled Loyola within a pair.
Murphy, however, delivered a sideout point with what would be her final kill of the match, and Sydney Sumner posted back-to-back kills to boost the Eagles' advantage to 11-6, forcing a Loyola timeout.
Out of the timeout, Murphy committed a service error, and Molly Werts served an ace for Loyola, closing the gap to 11-8. Stacey Kazalas and Corri Waters closed up a block for the Greyhounds, and Waters teamed with Alisah Cash for another block -- although Cash was credited with a kill on this point rather than a block -- to make it 11-10.
Werts had another service ace to tie the set at 11-11, and a Sumner attack error gave Loyola a one-point advantage.
North Carolina Central forced a Loyola attack error to tie the set at 12-12, but Kazalas put away a kill, and an Eagles attack error made it match-point for the Greyhounds. Kazalas then served an ace that secured the victory for Loyola.
Molly Cichosz had a team-high 11 kills for the Greyhounds, and Haley Puddy posted 10 without an error. Kazalas had eight kills to go with four aces, four total blocks and 13 digs, and Corri Waters hit .500 with seven kills on 14 errorless swings.
Waters also had a career-high eight blocks, leading the Loyola front line that had 11 total blocks.
Defensively, Micah Duzey pulled up 23 digs to lead all players, and Werts had 34 assists along with six kills, two aces and two blocks.
In the day's first match, against Maryland Eastern Shore, Puddy hit .448 with 17 kills and four blocks. Kazalas and Cichosz each had 13 kills, and Kazalas registered a double-double with 12 digs.
Duzey posted 17 digs, and Anna Eckstein had 10 in that match, while Werts had 41 assists and six kills.
Loyola takes a week off from action before playing its final tournament of the regular-season on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 18-19, at the University of Delaware. The Greyhounds will face the host Blue Hens, Sacred Heart University and Morgan State University in the Delaware Invitational.