Murray on the mark for Evanston
Updated: August 26, 2011 9:46AM
In the second match of the season for both teams, Evanston and Loyola put on a playoff-like show in Wilmette.
The Wildkits won in a wild finish, beating the Ramblers 25-14, 32-30 on Thursday.
“That was awesome,” said Evanston senior Martha Murray, whose block secured the victory. “It felt like a championship. If we are this excited about the second game, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings.”
Despite the defeat, Loyola coach Jenny Morris was appreciative of the effort of both her players and the crowd.
“It was electric, wasn’t it?” she said.
Up 13-10 in the first set, Evanston (2-0) pulled away with an 8-2 run.
The second set was more competitive. The teams traded leads throughout, with Loyola (1-1) pulling ahead 23-20 on Kaitlin Mohr and Kailey Carini’s tandem block.
But Evanston scratched out three points — two on kills from Murray — to tie the score at 23. Murray then tied the set at 24-24 with another kill.
Loyola had five match points, but Evanston answered every time. The Wildkits scored the final three points for the win.
“It was crazy,” said Murray, who finished with a match-best 12 kills. “We tried to stay calm. Our libero Charlotte (Runzel)) earned her spot (Thursday). She played so well.”
Evanston’s 6-foot-3 Casey Durham, a Pitt recruit, followed Murray with eight kills and added three blocks. Rookie setters Caroline Duke and Arianna Sala, a transfer from Von Steuben, combined for 20 assists.
Murray finished with eight digs, while Runzel added six.
Anna Pontarelli led Loyola with five kills. Esme Condon had 10 assists, while Michelle DiSilvestro added nine digs.
“I feel better about this group because of how they played in that second game,” Morris said. “I see what we can do, and I’m not sure I saw that in the first game.”