BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Senior Henry Clemons was a major contributor Wednesday as the Ramblers beat host Glenbrook South 30-28, 25-22 to capture their second regional championship in a row.
An outside hitter, Clemons finished with eight kills to send top-seeded Loyola to the sectional semifinals at Glenbrook North. The win avenged a three-set loss to the Titans on May 14.
“It was a complete team effort, but Henry played phenomenally and super smart,” Loyola head coach Lionel Ebeling said. “The guys believed in themselves and hung in there, especially during the first set. They were composed and mentally strong.”
Senior outside hitter Jack Howard had 12 kills, while senior middle Gavin Elliott totaled two kills and five blocks. Junior middle Liam Roberts finished with two kills and two blocks. Junior setter John Hitt had 25 assists, while sophomore libero Ryan Merk had eight digs.
The regional title was the program’s eighth in 11 seasons, all under Ebeling. The Ramblers are looking for their first trip to the state tournament since 1994.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have great kids from great families and great assistant coaches,” he said. “What we did [Wednesday] is a reflection of that.”
This will be the first meeting between Loyola and No. 4-seeded Glenbrook North this season. The Spartans, who took second in the state in 2012, are in the sectionals for the fourth time in five seasons.
“This will be a good matchup,” Ebeling said. “They are well-coached and traditionally strong. They always peak at the right time.”
BOYS LACROSSE: The defending state champion and top-seeded Ramblers will play New Trier on Friday in the sectional final at Loyola’s Hoerster Field.
Junior Kaden Keller had four goals and five assists to help the Ramblers to a 20-3 win over Maine South to set up the rematch of last season’s state title game. Senior Nolan Chow (pictured above) added six goals and two assists. Senior Mike Feuer (3 goals, 3 assists) and senior Patrick Cronin (1 goal, 2 assists) also contributed on offense.
New Trier, the No. 2 seed at the sectional, beat Evanston 15-5 in the other sectional semifinal.
In the first meeting between the two rivals April 16 at New Trier, Keller scored the game-winning goal to lift Loyola to a 7-6 win in overtime. The Ramblers (15-6) beat the Trevians 7-2 in the state final last year at Hinsdale Central.
GIRLS LACROSSE: Sophomore Ellie Lazzaretto scored four goals, while junior Annabelle Burke and freshman Maeve Dwyer each finished with three goals apiece Wednesday to lead the Ramblers to an 18-3 win over Evanston in the sectional semifinals at Evanston. The game was moved from host Resurrection due to unplayable field conditions.
Top-seeded Loyola (25-1) plays No. 2 New Trier in the sectional final Friday at New Trier. The Ramblers beat the Trevians 11-6 on April 15 at Loyola.
Senior Emily Doell, senior Maggie Gorman and junior Sophia Rucker all scored two goals Wednesday.
SOFTBALL: The Ramblers scored 11 runs in the bottom of the second inning Wednesday on their way to a 16-0 win over Maine East in four innings in the semifinals of the Class 4A Niles West Regional.
KK Raymond went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Marisa Michi had two doubles, two runs and three RBIs. Emily Molloy finished with two hits, three runs and two RBIs. Morgan Van Horn had two hits, two runs and two RBIs, while Emily Rivero had three RBIs.
Mackenzie Barry allowed one hit and struck out five to earn the win.
Loyola (21-7) plays either Niles West or Taft in the regional final Friday. The Ramblers are the No. 3 seed at Niles West’s sectional.
BASEBALL: Senior left-hander Joe McKermitt struck out five and surrendered one hit in three shutout innings Wednesday as the Ramblers earned a 15-0 win over Niles North in four innings in the Class 4A regional semifinals at Niles North.
Senior Joe Birchard and junior Colin Summerhill each hit their first home runs of the season. Summerhill added a double and drove in two runs. Birchard finished with two runs and two RBIs.
Junior Andrew Smart went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs. Senior Jake Novak had two hits, two runs and one RBI. Senior Patrick Neenan finished with two RBIs and one run, while junior Mikey Bednarek had one hit, two runs and one RBI.
Loyola (14-15) plays either New Trier or Taft in Saturday’s regional final. The Ramblers are the No. 4 seed at their own sectional.
WATER POLO: Senior Kenny Sajnaj was selected to second team all-state after scoring 77 goals to go with 65 assists for a team-high 142 points. Junior goalie Jake Carr was named to the fourth team. He saved an average of 10.8 shots a game. Senior Brian Solmos earned the Senior Scholastic Award.
For the girls, senior Aidan Koconis-O’Malley made third team all-state.
Photo credit: Margo Grogan/Sports Depiction