Colleges: Lewis looking forward to volleyball rematch vs. Loyola
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media February 6, 2014 7:12PM
Lewis' Jacob Schmiegelt rises for a spike Wednesday vs. Loyola. | Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 9, 2014 2:15AM
Although No. 10 Lewis dropped a four-set match Wednesday night to No. 2 Loyola in front of 1,764 fans in Romeoville, it will not be the first time the two men’s volleyball national heavyweights square off.
The rematch is set for March 18 at Loyola.
“This was great,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said of the playoff-type atmosphere in Neil Carey Arena. “It’s always a big match and a rivalry. All our conference matches are going to be tough. But Loyola raises the stakes a little bit because we are both from the Chicago area, we are both top 10 teams and both programs feel they play at a high level.
“Our fans are great here, and I’m sure their fans will be great when we play there.”
The two could meet in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament. A year ago, Loyola defeated Lewis 23-25, 25-23, 10-25, 25-22, 15-7 in the MIVA championship at Lewis on its way to reaching the NCAA semifinals.
Lewis, an NCAA qualifier in 2012, will have to work on a few things in order to turn the tables on the Ramblers.
“We have to be a little more disciplined with what we’re doing and be better in those situations,” Friend said. “Both those things go hand in hand a little bit. Ultimately, we’re trying to get better every day and that’s a part of it.”
Another part of it is the Flyers’ defense. They’re fourth in the nation, averaging 3.08 blocks per set. Libero Lucas Yanez is third in the MIVA with 2.29 digs per set. Bobby Walsh is second in the league with 40 blocks and sixth in the country with 1.43 blocks per set. Jacob Schmiegelt is fourth in the league with 31 total blocks.
Dixon’s big return
After missing her last game because of an illness, Prairie State College’s Nijea Dixon returned to the lineup in a big way.
The Joliet Central graduate had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 55-47 Skyway Conference win over Morton College.
Dixon helped Prairie State improve to 11-12 overall and 4-3 in the Skyway.
Moving in right direction
Joliet Junior College hasn’t won or lost more than two games in a row since winning its first two games of the season. The Wolves are 9-14 overall and 4-4 in the N4C.
“We are starting to move in the right direction,” coach Shaun Sanderson said after a 69-58 conference win over Harper. “We just need to put everything together to be successful.”
Putting it together against Harper was Minooka product Samantha Wurtz.
The freshman guard had 20 points, including six three-pointers.
Caitlin Cody is putting together a solid season for Trinity Christian. The Mother McAuley product is averaging 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, both team bests.
Cody is shooting 49 percent from the floor and 74 percent from the free-throw line.
The 5-foot-10 forward was Region Player of the Year, first-team all-region and a NCJAA Div. II All-American third-team selection at Parkland College a year ago.