Loyola starts the 2017 campaign on August 25 with two matches against SUNO and Dillard inside Dent Hall.
Entering her first year as the Loyola University New Orleans head volleyball coach, Jesse Zabal has announced the Wolf Pack's 2017 schedule.
Loyola embarks on the 2017 campaign after finishing with a 15-23 overall record and 8-12 mark in Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) matchups last season. The Wolf Pack qualified for the SSAC Championships for the third-straight season in 2016 and managed to leave Montgomery, Alabama with a 3-1 victory over Dalton State following two losses to start the tournament.
The Wolf Pack will open the season and prepare for SSAC play with two non-conference tournaments, starting with a four-match outing at cross-town rival Dillard University on August 25-26. The Wolf Pack will battle against SUNO, Dillard, Huston-Tillotson and Jarvis Christian inside Dent Hall before returning home to host Alcorn State in Loyola's home opener on August 28. Following a rematch against SUNO, the Wolf Pack will travel to Houston, Texas for the second-straight season to participate in the UST Labor Day Tournament hosted by St. Thomas-Houston. Loyola will have four matches inside the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center in Houston, starting with matches against Mid-American Bible College and St. Thomas before closing out the tournament with matches against Huston-Tillotson and Lane College. Loyola went 1-3 in the UST tournament last season, with its lone victory coming over the host Celts, 3-1.
Aside from its annual matches against SUNO, Dillard, Xavier, and Tougaloo, the Wolf Pack will face off against a handful of opponents for the first time in 2017. Following a four-match road trip, Loyola will welcome Talladega College to campus for the first time in program history on September 17. Coming out of the GCAC, the Tornadoes finished the 2016 campaign with a 21-13 overall record and advanced all the way to the GCAC Tournament final before falling to Xavier in five sets. Another new opponent for the 2017 season is Trinity International University who Loyola will face as part of a tri-match hosted by Martin Methodist on September 29. Led by head coach Luke Ward, the Trojans wrapped up the 2016 season with a 10-27 overall record and having lost eight of its final nine matches. The Wolf Pack will then square off against two unfamiliar opponents back-to-back as the team travels to Columbus, Mississippi to take on both the Mississippi University for Women and Fisk University on October 8. 2017 marks the first season for collegiate volleyball at the Mississippi University for Women while Fisk University capped off the 2016 campaign with a 5-21 overall mark.
Loyola's conference slate will feature 14 matches, with seven of the 14 total contests being played in the Crescent City. The Wolf Pack will start its conference tilt on the road against Mobile (September 15) and Faulkner (September 16) before welcoming Brewton-Parker (September 22) and Middle Georgia (September 23) to campus for two matches. Following three-straight SSAC road match ups, Loyola will play five of its next seven conference matches at home to close out the 2017 regular season.
The Wolf Pack brings back its entire starting rotation from last season, highlighted by junior middle blocker Allison Hartmann (JR/Slidell, La.). Hartmann led the team last year and ranked second in the league with 381 kills while sitting sixth in the conference with a .302 hitting percentage. Her 96 total blocks were eighth most in the SSAC and her 2.9 kills per set put her at No. 9 in the conference. For her efforts, the Slidell native became Loyola's first First Team All-SSAC selection since 2012 and the second Second Team All-State (LSWA) honoree in last three seasons. Hartmann, along with 2016 SSAC All-Freshman Team selection Tylar Beckham (SO/New Orleans, La.) and standout setter Maddie Huekels (JR/Dyer, Ind.) will look to lead Loyola back to the postseason in 2017.
Loyola brings four new faces to the floor this year in freshmen Symone Killebrew (FR/Harvey, La.), Adde-Lisa Baldwin (FR/Harvey, La.), Helene Masone (FR/Destin, Fla.) and Adelida Obioha (FR/New Orleans, La.), who will look to manage the loss of 2016 seniors Katie Phillippi, Arielle Lewis and Wren Overesch.