McKendree dominant in fifth game to knock off No. 11 Loyola

Photo courtesy of McKendree athletics

Setter Ryan Serrano ran the offense to near perfection when McKendree needed it the most.

Serrano guided the offense to a match-best .667 attack percentage and zero errors in the decisive fifth game as McKendree defeated No. 11 Loyola 28-26, 25-21, 13-25, 22-25, 15-10 on Thursday in Chicago.

Serrano finished with 50 assists and helped McKendree out-hit Loyola .338 to .299. This was the Bearcats’ highest attack percentage in their last 10 matches and more than .050 percentage points above their season average.

McKendree (11-8, 6-3 MIVA) had three players with more than 15 kills en route to the program’s first all-time road win against Loyola (13-7, 7-2 MIVA).

Outside attacker Kevin Schuele had 16 kills on a .464 attack percentage, including having the match-winning kill. Outside attackers Ethan Carroll and Patrick Ross each also led the Bearcats with 17 kills.


Along with their offensive performances, both Serrano and Ross had a team-high 13 digs, while Schuele added 12 digs.

Loyola outside attacker Cole Schlothauer in the loss had a match-high 18 kills and outside attacker Parker Van Buren contributed 17 kills. In addition, middle attacker Andrew Lyons had 10 kills and zero errors on a match-best .625 attack percentage.

Setter Garrett Zolg led all players defensively with 16 digs.

McKendree trailed the final game 2-0 and then went on a 5-0 run that featured three consecutive Loyola attack errors and a setter dump kill from Serrano. The Bearcats led the fifth game by as many as six points as Carroll and Schuele each contributed a game-high three kills.

McKendree in the opening game also rallied from a 12-6 deficit and fought off a game-point before winning in overtime.

Loyola with this loss ended its five-match winning streak and dropped into second place in the MIVA. The team entered the match tied with No. 8/6 Ball State for first place.

McKendree remains in third place and now has a two-match lead on the three teams tied for fourth place.

This was the third consecutive match between the Ramblers and Bearcats that went to a fifth game. Loyola rallied from a two-game deficit to beat McKendree in the MIVA Tournament semifinals last year, and then McKendree overcame its own two-game deficit to defeat Loyola earlier this year for its first win in the series history.