FAIRFAX, Va. - Stacey Kazalas had a career-high 18 kills as one of three Loyola University Maryland players with 10 or more, but Hampton University won the final two sets to edge the Greyhounds, 25-22, 25-27, 19-25, 25-21, 15-11 in the first match of the Mason Invitational.
Ann Ernst led the Greyhounds with 20 kills, her fourth match of the year with 20 or more, and Haley Puddy contributed a season-high 10 while hitting .471. Puddy also was in on eight of the Greyhounds’ 14 total blocks in the match.
Hampton opened the match with six service aces in the first set, winning the opening frame, 25-22. The Greyhounds, however, came back to win next two, taking a 2-1 advantage going into the fourth set.
The Pirates, however, led throughout the entire fourth set to force a deciding fifth frame. With Kazalas serving in the fifth, Loyola scored four-straight points to lead, 6-2.
Lena Washington sided out for the Pirates, but Hampton gave the serve right back to the Greyhounds on a service error.
Hampton then scored two points in a row on a block by Kennedy Keeney and one of Reeana Richardson’s 25 kills. Loyola sided out on an Ernst kill after a timeout, but Hampton tallied the next three points to tie the set at 8-8.
Ernst put Loyola back up by one, 9-8, with a kill, but Richardson had a sideout kill, and an attack error gave Hampton a 10-9 advantage. Molly Jarvis, who hit .412 and had eight kills for Loyola, sided out with a kill to tie the fifth at 10-10, but Richardson had two-straight kills, and she teamed with Kelci Dixon for a block that put the Pirates in front, 13-10.
Loyola took a point back on a Hampton service error, but the Pirates closed out the win with a Richardson kill and a Loyola attack error.
The Greyhounds return to action on Saturday with two matches at the tournament. They face Bryant University at 11 a.m. and host George Mason University at 7 p.m.