Offense rules the boys volleyball game, and Loyola didn’t have much of it Friday in a 25-17, 25-22 loss to New Trier at home.
The Ramblers (9-7) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set and led 9-8 before the Trevians (7-3) took control by scoring eight of the next nine points to go up 16-10. Loyola never got closer than four again.
New Trier led the entire second set. Ahead 24-16, the Trevians had trouble closing out the match as the Ramblers used a 6-0 run to make it interesting. Loyola freshman libero Ryan Merk made several digs during a lengthy point to keep the Ramblers alive.
“We passed the ball well, but we hit poorly,” Loyola head coach Lionel Ebeling said. “We couldn’t terminate points. New Trier played good defense, but we got to put the ball away better.”
Loyola finished with eight kills. Senior right-side hitter Drake Johnson had a team-best four, and junior outside hitter Henry Clemons finished with two. Senior middle Nick Howard and sophomore outside hitter/setter John Hitt each had one.
Meanwhile, two New Trier players each had six kills.
“Eight is not enough,” Ebeling said.
Merk contributed eight digs, while Hitt finished with four assists and three aces. Howard had two blocks.
The Ramblers have a busy schedule next week. They host St. Rita on Tuesday and Providence Catholic on Thursday in the Catholic Blue. Loyola is 1-1 in conference play. The Ramblers play at Downers Grove South’s tournament Friday and Saturday.
Ebeling said he expects junior outside hitter Jack Howard to play for the first time this season next week. He’s been sidelined with an ankle injury.
“Having him back will make a difference,” Ebeling said.