No. 11 USC Men's Volleyball Beats No. 7 Loyola-Chicago In Season Opener

    Robert Feathers

    Jan. 4, 2014

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    Freshman Lucas Yoder had a match-best 16 kills while hitting .609 to help the No. 11-ranked USC men's volleyball team open its 2014 season with a 27-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-15 win at No. 7 Loyola-Chicago on Saturday (Jan. 4).

    The Ramblers fell to 2-1.

    Trojans Maddison McKibbin, Alex Slaught and Andy Benesh each added 9 kills, with Benesh hitting .571 and McKibbin getting 8 digs. Robert Feathers came off the bench to get 6 kills while hitting .750. Micah Christenson had a match-high 10 digs.

    USC hit .328 to Loyola-Chicago's .210

    Joe Smalzer led the Ramblers with 13 kills, while Owen McAndrews added 10 kills while hitting .643. Thomas Jaeschke and Peter Jasaitis each had 9 digs, while Nicholas Olson had 5 blocks.

    USC trailed 10-6 in the first set before scoring 7 of the next 8 points to go up, 13-11, but Loyola-Chicago tied it at 22-22 before Troy scored the final 2 points on a Slaught kill and a Rambler hitting error. The second set was knotted at 9-9 before Loyola-Chicago scored 6 unanswered points and USC couldn't catch up. The Trojans talled 4 consecutive points to open a 14-9 lead in the third set and were never threatened. USC jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the final set and cruised in for the victory.

    The Trojans next play at No. 10 Lewis on Sunday (Jan. 5) in a 7 p.m. CT non-conference match before returning to Los Angeles to kick off its home slate on Friday (Jan. 10) against UC San Diego at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center for its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener.