Nov. 18, 2007
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Loyola's offensive attack was clicking in the third game, which the Greyhounds won, but Fairfield won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinals match in four, 30-19, 30-22, 23-30, 30-20, on Sunday afternoon at Fairfield's Alumni Hall.
The loss brings a great season to a closer for Loyola. The Greyhounds finished 22-12, their most wins since the 1992 season. Loyola set a school record for winning percentage in a season, as their .647 mark eclipsed that of the 1992 team (.625).
Loyola entered the match as the third seed in the MAAC Championships, the highest seed it has achieved since 1997. Fairfield was the second seed and advances to the MAAC Championship Game where it will face the winner of the second semifinal between Siena and Iona.
"From the beginning of the year, we set goals, and one of them was to get to the MAAC Championships," Head Coach Kristina Hernandez said. "We accomplished that, and this was an experience that we can take back and build on. We will use this as motivation next year."
After trailing 2-0 after two games, the Greyhounds responded with a solid third game.
Fairfield (21-10) maintained a two or three point lead through the early par of the third game before Loyola tied the score at 10-10 on an attack error by Lauren Hughes.
The Greyhounds then used a bad set by the Stags and two Rachel Schillinger kills in three points to take a 13-11 lead.
After three more tie scores, Loyola jumped out to a five-point lead, 22-17, behind the serving of Karlee Woodward. Fairfield scored two points in a row to pull within three, 22-19, but a Stags service error, a Brittany Born kill from the backrow and an Anastasia Collins kill from the middle put the Greyhounds back up by six.
After a Fairfield timeout, the Stags put together three points to drop Loyola's lead to three, 25-22. Collins had another kill, however, to give Loyola a sideout and the serve.
Collins put down another kill, one of her 11 in the match, then assisted with Nina Camaioni on a block for another point. Camaioni had a kill for point, then after a Fairfield sideout, Schillinger notched a kill to close out the game and force a fourth.
Loyola led in the early going of game four, but the Stags put together a 10-3 run to lead 18-11. Loyola pulled within six on a Kelly Oliver attack error, but the Greyhounds would get no closer, as the Stags closed out the match.
Karlee Woodward finished with a team-high 14 kills and a .385 hitting percentage for Loyola. Born and Camaioni each had 19 digs for the Greyhounds.
Two of Loyola's best features during the season were not sharp today. The Greyhounds gave up 16 points on receiving errors (8) and service errors (8).
"The things that make us a good team were not there," Hernandez said. "The things that we (usually) do well, we did not.
"I give a lot of credit to Fairfield's team because they were calm throughout the entire match, while we had our ups and downs emotionally. (Fairfield's) seniors really came through for them."
Katie Mann led all players with 18 digs, while Karlie Urbaniak added 14, and Oliver had 13.