BOYS TRACK AND FIELD: Senior Declan Ritzenthaler made program history Saturday by taking third place in pole vault with a mark of 15 feet at the Class 3A state track and field meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
The boys team’s previous best finish in event belonged Tim Reynolds, who placed seventh in 1978.
It was Ritzenthaler’s third appearance at the Class 3A state meet. He finished 14th in pole vault as a sophomore.
Ritzenthaler, who will compete in the event at Boston University, holds the program’s outdoor record at 15-6.
BOYS VOLLEYBALL: The Ramblers beat Hersey 25-19, 25-21 on Friday at Glenbrook South for their sixth consecutive win — all in two sets — to advance their first sectional final since 2015. Sixth-seeded Loyola plays top-seeded New Trier on Tuesday in Glenview.
“We are peaking at the right time,” Loyola head coach Lionel Ebeling said.
The Ramblers (27-12) lost both matches to the Trevians in two sets during the regular season. This is a different Loyola team, according to Ebeling. For one, junior Jack Howard missed the first match April 13 and was in the first week of his return for the second match April 21.
“They haven’t seen us at our best,” he said. “But it doesn’t always matter who is better. It’s about who competes better that day.”
Senior Drake Johnson likes Loyola’s chances against New Trier in the third meeting.
“We have really come together, and our chemistry is there,” he said. “We have to come out with high intensity and jump on them early.”
Loyola last won a sectional title in 1994.
In the win over Hersey, Howard had 11 kills, while Johnson finished with two kills and three blocks. Senior Nick Howard totaled three kills. Senior Rees Gray had 13 assists, while sophomore John Hitt had seven assists and two kills. Freshman Ryan Merk finished with nine digs.
GIRLS SOCCER: The Ramblers scored first Friday in the Class 3A sectional final against New Trier at Glenbrook South. The lead lasted less than two minutes. After tying the game, the Trevians then added the game-winning goal with 10:41 remaining in regulation to earn the 2-1 win.
“I think we got a little overjoyed, and we didn’t keep with the tempo,” Loyola coach Scott Ackman said after allowing the equalizer.
Scoreless at intermission, senior Cate Shellenback (pictured above) gave the Ramblers a 1-0 lead at the 31:47 mark of the second half.
“Absolutely amazing goal,” Ackman said.
Ackman lamented not getting on the scoreboard in the first half when the Ramblers roughly shared possession with the Trevians.
“We knew where we wanted to attack,” he said.
Loyola (19-2-4) captured its 10th consecutive regional championship and won the GCAC Red title this season.
BOYS TENNIS: Senior Alan Arocho won his first three matches to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A state tournament before concluding his season with a loss in the consolation quarterfinals.
The doubles teams of senior Andy Paden and junior Jack Livaditis and senior Daly Frost and senior Tommy Sullivan both went 2-2 at the tournament.
All three entries scored points to help the Ramblers place eighth as a team.
SOFTBALL: Despite out-hitting Carmel on Saturday in the Class 4A regional final at Loyola, the Ramblers couldn’t capitalize with runs in a 7-2 loss.
Loyola (20-9) had 10 hits, with Riley Bendery, Marisa Michi and KK Raymond all totaling two hits apiece. Kathryn Kinsella had one hit and knocked in both runs for the Ramblers.
Carmel did its damage by scoring five runs in the bottom of the third to take a 7-1 lead.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola