WATER POLO: Before beating Whitney Young 11-3 in its final game in the school’s current pool Thursday, the Loyola girls team learned it earned the No. 1 seed at the Glenbrook South Sectional. The boys team also received the No. 1 seed at the Glenbrook South Sectional. The state series starts May 7 for both boys and girls.

“That’s where we thought we should be,” Loyola boys head coach Dan Hengelmann said.

Hengelmann’s team has been one of the best in the state all season. The Ramblers are 19-3 and ranked No. 5 by Illpolo.com. Two of their losses were to No. 3-ranked Lyons, one of which came in triple overtime, and the other was to No. 4-ranked Fenwick in the season opener. The three defeats were by a combined seven goals.

The Ramblers get their toughest test of the season Friday when they play Naperville Central, the top-ranked team by Illpolo.com, at Stevenson’s tournament.

“We are going to see some big boys there, but that’s good,” Hengelmann said. “We need to know where we are at this time of the year, and what we need to fix before the playoffs start.”

The boys game Monday at home against Lockport concludes the regular season and will mark the final event at Loyola’s current natatorium before construction begins on a new facility. The girls completed the regular season Thursday with a record of 14-11.

Both teams compete at the MCAC tournament next week at Fenwick.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL: The Ramblers rebounded from Tuesday’s loss to Brother Rice by beating St. Francis 25-19, 24-26, 25-16 on Thursday at home.

Senior Drake Johnson finished with 12 kills and three blocks, and junior Jack Howard had eight kills and five blocks in a win that kept Loyola mathematically alive for the Catholic Blue championship.

The Ramblers (15-10, 4-2) need to beat St. Rita and Providence Catholic, and Brother Rice, which is undefeated in conference play, needs to lose its final two league games for Loyola to share first place.

Senior Nick Howard had eight kills, and senior Clark Winkler contributed two kills and four blocks in Thursday’s win over the Spartans. Sophomore John Hitt had 18 assists and two blocks. Freshman Ryan Merk finished with nine digs and two aces.

In Tuesday’s 25-21, 25-18 loss to Brother Rice in Chicago, Johnson had eight kills and one block, and Nick Howard had four kills. Winkler totaled two kills and one block, while junior Jack Howard had two kills and one block. Hits finished with 10 assists. Merk had four digs.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola