Volleyball extends winning streak against Loyola
AU took five sets to get the victory
Though it took longer than most in attendance expected, the AU volleyball team extended their winning streak to seven games on Tuesday night, improving their season record to 14-7.
The Loyola Greyhounds (10-12) gave the Eagles a run for their money, pushing the match to five sets, including a fourth set overtime. AU boasts a 32-2 record against Loyola, and head coach Barry Goldberg has not lost to Loyola since 1992.
Junior outside hitter Helena Elbaek was pivotal in the team’s win, with some of her most impact nine kills coming in the tiebreaker set.
“Teams in the conference improved a lot this year,” Elbaek told The Eagle. “We really have to stay on our toes to keep up.”
AU led much of the first set, gaining a 17-9 lead. Loyola struggled to gather its bearings, committing 10 total errors in the first set alone. The Eagles pulled out wins in sets one and two, 25-21 and 25-20.
“We felt like we were in fairly good control,” Goldberg said.
Loyola took charge in the third set, storming ahead 19-11 as Goldberg used the team’s final timeout. Loyola slowed down but never let AU get too close, ending the set 25-20. The Greyhounds offense proved to be clicking in the third set, as they had a .324 hitting percentage.
Loyola kept momentum going with a neck-and-neck start to the fourth set. Following a late timeout, AU took the lead 25-24. Loyola countered with a timeout of their own before ripping off three straight points and taking the fourth set 27-25.
“Bad coaching was the issue, obviously. I started mixing up too many players too quickly at one time,” Goldberg said. “You’re taking chances, and you’re hoping and learning things from it.”
AU killed the final seven points of the match to win the set, 15-9, and the match, 3-2.
“I think we got determined in the last set and we just went for it,” Elbaek said.
The team now sits second behind Colgate (15-5) in the Patriot League. The Eagles will host Army West Point (15-6), whom they have previously beaten in their only match this season, on Friday, Oct. 25.