Sept. 29, 2012
BALTIMORE - Faye Lukas had a career-high 28 kills to lead Loyola University Maryland volleyball to a come-from-behind victory over Iona College, 17-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-13, 15-13, on Saturday night in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Lukas shattered her previous best of 22, set earlier this season against Charleston Southern, putting away 16 in the first two sets. Her 28 kills are four more than any other player in the MAAC has recorded in a match this season, entering today's slate of competition.
Iona (5-10 overall, 3-1 MAAC), however, won the first set by hitting .406 with 14 kills against just one error, in the first frame. The Gaels sided out at an 82-percent rate in the set, while Loyola managed to sideout just 56-percent of the time.
Lukas had nine kills in the first set, but her teammates posted just seven combined, however, the Greyhounds picked up their hitting in the second. In addition to Lukas' seven, Katie Dircks had five on only eight swings, and Jac Bullock put away three kills.
Loyola (9-6, 2-2) held a four-point lead much of the second set, but Iona cut its deficit to 21-20 on a Catrina Warren kill. Mindy Maloney came through with a kill, and a Gaels' ball-handling error pushed the Greyhounds' advantage back to three.
After a McKenzie Humann kill for Iona made it a two-point set, Dircks had a kill, and Maloney and Lukas blocked Taylor Cembalisty for the final point, tying the match at one game apiece.
After Iona won the third set, Loyola's defense forced the Gaels into a negative hitting percentage (-.077) in the fourth.
Bullock was the offensive force in the fourth, hitting .667 in the set with six kills on nine attempts. She also had three aces during the game, two coming in the final five points.
Iona scored the first point of the deciding fifth set on a Warren kill, but Loyola reeled off five in a row, two on kills by Bullock and Lukas and three from Gaels' hitting miscues, to lead, 5-1.
The Greyhounds took an 8-3 lead after Lukas put away a kill, but Humann had a kill for an Iona sideout, and Alicja Pawelec recorded one of her team-high 15 sandwiched between two Loyola attack errors, to pull the Gaels within a point, 8-7.
After a Greyhounds' timeout, Pawelec attempted to tip a ball through the middle, but Maloney was there to redirect her try with a solo block. Pawelec, however, did get a kill on the next point to make it 9-8, and Madisyn Spence notched another to tie the set, 9-9.
Iona was whistled for a ball-handling error to give Loyola the lead, 10-9, and Dircks killed a point from the back row to push the lead to two.
Pawelec made it a one-point set, but Lukas recorded her final kill of the night to get the serve back for the Greyhounds. Kara Schiffer then ducked her serve inside the back line for one of her match-high four aces, and Loyola led by three, 13-10.
Spence swung for a sideout kill, and a Loyola attack error, shrunk the margin to one before Warren had a solo block in the middle to tie the match at 13-13.
Two Iona miscues, a Pawelec attack error and a Warren ball-handling error, gave Loyola the 15-13 win and the match.
Bullock posted 15 kills, and Dircks finished with nine. Maloney had seven to go with four total blocks.
In addition to Pawelec's 15, Warren had 11 kills, while Spence tallied 10.
The Greyhounds will make a quick turnaround for their next match, a 2 o'clock start on Sunday in Reitz Arena against Fairfield University.