Men’s Volleyball: Lewis reaches MIVA championship match
By David Allen For Sun-Times Media April 25, 2012 10:54PM
Updated: May 28, 2012 8:49AM
Lewis had a key stretch in each game en route to a 25-17, 25-22, 25-21 MIVA Tournament semifinal sweep Wednesday night of Loyola at a boisterous Carey Arena.
The No. 7 Flyers will play Saturday at No. 10 Ohio State in the championship match.
“I am surprised by the sweep,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said. “We always battle with Loyola. I thought we put a lot of pressure on them at the serving line.”
A key to that was Jay Petty, who seldom missed on a 17-for-21 hitting line.
“I felt good all day,” Petty said. “I knew we were going to play with a lot of energy, and we fed off the crowd. It’s been so much fun all year to play at a national championship-level.”
Lewis (25-6) took advantage of a couple of Loyola hitting errors to pull away from a 4-all tie in Game 1 with three consecutive points. The Flyers stayed in control the rest of the way.
The quick work and eight-point Game 1 win was a far cry from the previous time the teams met in Romeoville. On that occasion Lewis won Game 1 — which featured 20 ties — 37-35.
Lewis controlled a late stretch of Game 2 as the Flyers overcame a 20-19 deficit with four consecutive points. A Geoff Powell kill finished the game, which featured 12 ties.
The Flyers overcame an 8-5 deficit in Game 3 and broke the last tie with a 7-2 stretch. Lewis kept several volleys alive with great individual efforts.
“That’s something we talked about,” Petty said. “We played scrappy and played good defense. We’re known as an offensive team, but we scrapped up some balls and got some offense off that.”
Lewis reached 25 victories for the first time since 1998.