Everything went right for Lincoln Memorial – so right it achieved a program first.
Lincoln Memorial finished with a .402 attack percentage as it upset No. 11 Loyola 25-21, 25-22, 25-15 on Friday in Harrogate, Tennessee, for the program’s first all-time win against a nationally ranked team.
Three Railsplitters had double-digit kills in the sweep that extended the team’s season-opening winning streak to three matches.
Outside attacker Johansen Negron had a match-high 13 kills on a .667 attack percentage with five kills coming in the final game. Outside attacker Cole Campisano also contributed 10 kills while hitting .381 and opposite Justin Sharfenaker had 11 kills.
“The team executed the game plan very well. Ball control was reasonable all night, which kept us open in our offense, and we were able to get a lot of one-on-ones and terminate,” coach John Cash said in an interview with Off the Block. “Defensively, we made some great stops and had some excellent touches that allowed us to transition into quick offense.”
Lincoln Memorial committed one attack error and had a match-best .538 attack percentage in the opening game. It also hit .481 and never trailed in its 10-point third-game win to close out the match.
Loyola was held to a .194 attack percentage against Lincoln Memorial. Outside attackers Colton Brooks and Parker Van Buren each had a team-high nine kills but were the only Ramblers with at least five kills.
The Ramblers continued to be without Preseason All-American outside attacker Cole Schlothauer. Schlothauer has missed the last five matches with an injury.
Lincoln Memorial entered this match having lost both its previous meetings against Loyola. The team will continue its home stand against McKendree on Saturday – another program the Railsplitters have never defeated.
Despite the milestone win versus Loyola, Cash said the team is not spending a lot of time enjoying the victory because of matches on back-to-back days.
“No real time to celebrate,” he said. “We have an extraordinarily tough match [Saturday] against McKendree.”