NCAA Talk

Loyola wins second straight NCAA volleyball championship

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Loyola wins second straight NCAA volleyball championship

STANFORD, Calif. — Player of the year Thomas Jaeschke had 20 kills and Loyola successfully defended its NCAA men's volleyball championship with a five-set victory over Lewis on Saturday night.

Jeff Jendryk added 17 kills for the Ramblers (28-2) in the 21-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-27, 23-21 marathon title clash between two Chicago-area schools at Stanford's Maples Pavilion.

It was the first title game between two non-West Coast teams in tournament history.

Greg Petty had 23 kills for Lewis (27-4) in the fourth meeting between the two teams this season.

Just a week ago, Loyola beat then-No. 1 Lewis in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association final. Lewis won both regular-season meetings between the two teams 3-1.

Loyola swept Pfeiffer of North Carolina in a tournament play-in game Tuesday before defeating UC Irvine in a semifinal match Thursday night. Loyola's 25-22, 25-19, 25-17 victory assured the first championship game between two non-West Coast teams in tournament history.

Lewis advanced with a 3-1 victory over Penn State in the semifinals.

The Ramblers jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first set as Lewis appeared tentative. But the Flyers got stronger throughout the set and closed within 15-13 after Geoff Powell's ace. Jake Selsky's ace evened the match at 19-all, and Lewis pulled ahead on Powell's kill. Petty spiked for set point for the Flyers, who were able to overcome seven service errors.

Lewis pulled in front 15-10 in the second set and Loyola looked out of sorts, making uncharacteristic mistakes. But the Ramblers narrowed the gap to 20-18 after Nicolas Olson's monster block.

Cody Caldwell's kill evened it at 21, and Loyola finished the set with three stuff blocks, including one for set point from Jeff Jendryk and Pete Hutz top make it 1-1.

Loyola rode the momentum into the third set, going up 6-0. Jaeschke's kill extended it to 12-4 and Olson spiked to claim the set and put the Ramblers up 2-1.

Lewis sprang to life in the fourth, fighting off match point twice before pulling in front on Powell's kill. His ace sent the match to a fifth and deciding set.

Caldwell's ace and a timely block put Loyola in front 7-6. Powell's cross-court slam evened the set at 9 but Loyola wouldn't surrender the lead.

Lewis again held off match point twice, pulling to 14-13. Petty spiked to make it 14-all and the teams wrestled the rest of the way until Caldwell's block gave Loyola the advantage and the team stuffed Petty's spike for the win.

Jaeschke, a 6-foot-6 outside hitter, was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year earlier this week. He had nine kills in the semifinal victory over the Anteaters.

Last season, the Ramblers beat top-seeded Stanford 3-1 for the school's first NCAA championship.

Lewis, which had never before faced the same team four times in a season, was the nation's top blocking team with an average of 3.39 per game — the only team to average more than three.

A Division II Catholic school of about 6,800 students, Lewis has been steadily growing its volleyball program. The Flyers won the national title in 2003, but later vacated it because of ineligible players.

Coach Dan Friend, named the coach of the year, has led the program's resurgence.

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DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

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USA TODAY

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.

Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.

“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."

Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.

"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.

“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”

 

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

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USA TODAY

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

Loyola is rewarding Porter Moser for his basketball team's success this season.

Loyola and Moser have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is through the 2025-26 season.

"We are excited to be able to announce a new contract for Porter that will keep him at Loyola a long time," Loyola Director of Athletics Steve Watson said. "He is the perfect fit for Loyola and operates his program the right way, with student-athletes who achieve excellence on the court and in the classroom and are also excellent representatives of the institution.

"We are fortunate to work at a university like Loyola, that values and has made a commitment to athletics. It is nice to reward Porter not just for an outstanding season, but also for the job he has done during his time here."

That's a well-deserved extension for a head coach who led the Ramblers to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.

As the 11th seed, Loyola exceeded all expectations, shocking the world with a Final Four appearance. The Ramblers took down No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before losing to No. 3 Michigan, who would go on to lose to No. 1 Villanova in the championship game.

Loyola finished the regular season with a 28-5 record and a MVC Championship.

In seven seasons, Moser has a 121-111 record with the Ramblers, though three of his last four have been winning seasons.