Three Post 10-Plus Kills As Volleyball Beats Akron
AKRON, Ohio - Ann Ernst had 19 kills and 11 digs Friday night, leading Loyola University Maryland to a four-set win, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20, over the University of Akron as the Greyhounds opened the Akron Invitational.
Ernst was one of three Greyhounds with 10 or more kills, the first time Loyola has turned that feat since September 16, 2016. Stacey Kazalas logged 11 kills and 13 digs, and Haley Puddy had 10 kills to go with three total blocks.
Akron (1-3 overall) opened the first set quickly, breaking a 3-3 tie with 10-straight points. The Zips had three blocks during the run with six of the Akron points coming off Greyhounds errors.
Down 18-6 minutes later, Loyola reeled off seven-consecutive points to close the gap to five, 18-13, on a Puddy kill. A service error, however, gave the sideout back to Akron and was the first of four points in a row for the Zips.
Neither Loyola, nor Akron, led the second set by more than three points. Loyola took an early 12-9 lead on a Puddy kill, but the advantage swung back to the Zips, 16-15, on a Kayla Gwozdz kill. A Zips attack error tied the match at 18-18, but Alexis Adleta gave Akron a one-point advantage with a kill on the next point.
This time, it was Akron's turn for an attack error, and Stacey Kazalas pushed Loyola in front with a kill to make the score 21-20. The Zips evened the score again at 20-20, but Molly Jarvis put a way a kill to give Loyola a one-point lead. Loyola had a service error to tie the set again, but Mackenzie Fedota knocked down a kill to put Loyola in front for good and the match was tied at one set each.
Fedota had back-to-back kills in the third set to put Loyola in front by seven, 11-4, an advantage the Greyhounds pushed to 13-6 on a Kozer-Jarvis block. Akron, however, Akron battled back to draw within a pair, 14-12, on a Adleta solo block.
Loyola (1-3) did not let the Zips get closer than that for the rest of the set, taking a 2-1 lead into the fourth.
The Greyhounds similarly pushed out for a lead in what would be the deciding set, scoring the stanza's first four points on two Ernst kills, one by Kazalas and an Akron error. Another Zips hitting miscue would give Loyola an 11-5 lead, but four-straight points by Akron closed the gap to two.
Corri Waters sided out for the Greyhounds to start a 5-0 Loyola run that would put it in command of the set. The win was Loyola's second over the Zips in as many seasons.
Gwozdz led Akron (1-3, 0-0 MAC) in kills with 14, and Jessica Kloehn and Madi Baer contributed 11 kills each. Emily Weigand helped the Zips with 46 assists and 12 digs.
The Greyhounds continue play in the tournament on Saturday, September 2, when it faces La Salle University in a 10 a.m. match. They then take on Tennessee Tech University at 4:30 p.m. to close the event.