No. 1 Loyola in convincing fashion clinched a share of the MIVA regular season title and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference tournament.
Loyola finished with more than a .400 attack percentage as it swept IPFW 25-20, 25-13, 25-22 on Saturday in Fort Wayne, Ind., to earn the top seed in the MIVA Tournament for the first time in eight years.
The Ramblers (21-1, 11-0 MIVA) in the conference road victory out-hit the Mastodons .423 to .093 and had three players finish double-digit kills.
Outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke finished with a match-high 12 kills and an ace against IPFW (17-6, 6-5 MIVA). This was also the first match back for Jaeschke after not playing in Loyola’s five-game win against Ball State earlier this week because of an apparent lower-leg injury.
All-American outside attacker Joseph Smalzer and outside attacker Cody Caldwell also added 10 kills to help the Ramblers extend their winning streak to a nation-best 19 matches.
In addition to the offensive performance, Loyola freshman middle attacker Owen McAndrews led all players with five blocks.
With this victory, Loyola remains perfect in conference play and will be assured home court advantage throughout the entire postseason. The Ramblers along with having the top seed and home court for the upcoming MIVA Tournament will play host to the six-team NCAA Tournament this season.
The win also gives Loyola at least a share of the MIVA regular season championship for the second consecutive year. The Ramblers can win their first out-right conference regular season title since 2006 if they win one of their three remaining conference matches.
IPFW outside attacker Andy Sellan in the loss had a team-high 11 kills but was the only player on the Mastodons to finish with more than five kills.
This was also the second consecutive conference loss for IPFW after blowing a 13-7 fifth game lead and losing in overtime against Lewis on Thursday. The Mastodons remain in fourth place the MIVA and can still earn their first home postseason match in seven years if they win their final three conference matches.