(New Orleans, La.) The Loyola University New Orleans volleyball team will begin pool play in the 2013 SSAC Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 7 when they face Southern Wesleyan University at 12:30 p.m. and the College of Coastal Georgia at 3 p.m. in the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.
The Wolf Pack (9-19, 5-9 SSAC) will make its fourth consecutive appearance in the SSAC Tournament since joining the conference in 2010 and first under head coach Margot Frederick. Loyola enters the tournament coming off a successful month of October, earning six of their nine wins within the last four weeks. The Pack strung together a three-match win streak in the middle of the month, two of the victories coming against conference opponents.
Sophomore Eva Allen leads Loyola offensively for the 2013 regular season. She has recorded 269 kills and 37 aces on the year. Freshman setter Daniela Leal has notched 886 assists. Junior Becca Burnett steadies the backcourt with 351 digs, while senior Sabrina Stansberry poses the biggest threat at the net with 57 blocks.
Southern Wesleyan (24-10, 11-3 SSAC) sits third overall in the SSAC. The Wolf Pack looks to avenge a mid-season three set loss to the Warriors in their first round of tournament play. Junior Cherilyn Ramsey paces the Southern Wesleyan offense with 410 kills. Senior libero Kelsey Deerinwater anchors the defense with 611 digs.
Coastal Georgia (23-10, 11-3 SSAC) is ranked fourth in the conference. Loyola fell to the Mariners during the regular season. Sophomore Kara Neisen holds the team lead in kills with 369. Freshman Cayley Meiners has posted 49 aces and 983 assists.
The SSAC Tournament consists of the top nine teams in the conference placed in three pools. Spring Hill, Bethel and Faulkner complete Pool A. Pool B consists of Mobile, Emmanuel and Brenau, while Loyola, Southern Wesleyan and Coastal Georgia create Pool C. Six teams will advance from pool play for a single elimination bracket on Friday and Saturday.
The two teams reaching the finals of the tournament will receive automatic bids to the NAIA National Championship. The opening round of the National Championship will feature 24 teams competing at campus sites for a ticket to the National Championship Tournament. The twelve teams advancing from the opening round on Nov. 23 will join the top 11 seeds and host at the final site. Nationals will take place Dec. 3-Dec. 7 in Sioux City, Iowa.