Resilient John Carroll stymies Loyola for title and 22-0 season

Fritz's 29 kills lead Pats in their three-game sweep

MIAA volleyball championship

November 08, 2003|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

John Carroll's Matthew Fritz saw the throng of supporters cheering for Loyola at last night's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association volleyball championship at Villa Julie College. It served as his inspiration.

The Patriots (22-0), behind Fritz's 29 kills, fought off five game points in the first game and two in the second to defeat Loyola, 27-25, 28-26, 25-12, and complete an undefeated season with the league title.

The varsity title was the first in the MIAA for the Patriots in volleyball. Calvert Hall has won the first four volleyball championships.

"I heard the crowd, and I kind of fed off of that," said Fritz, a senior. "I knew this was it for the seniors, so I knew we had to make this for all its worth."

"These kids just refuse to lose," said Patriots coach Herb Simon. "There's something about game point that just brings out the best in them."

Loyola (17-6) appeared to control play early in both of the first games, but the Patriots stayed within striking distance.

The Patriots trailed by as many as four points in the first game but pulled even at 22 on a kill by Seth Beck. The Patriots rallied again to take a 25-24 lead, but a tip over the net by Loyola's Max Pompa tied the score again at 25. A kill by Beck, followed by another by Fritz, gave the Patriots the first game.

In the second game, the Patriots trailed 6-0 and 18-12 before riding the service of Tyler Tilghman and Fritz to tie the game at 18. Loyola took leads of 25-24 and 26-25 before the Patriots rallied again. The teams traded points before John Carroll used a tip over the net by Tilghman (35 assists for the match) and two kills by Fritz to close out the game, 28-26.

"We played well as a team tonight, and I think it really fired us up," Fritz said. "We felt like we were on a roll."

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