NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola volleyball team will begin their 2011 season Saturday, August 27 when they travel down the road to take on cross-town rival Southern University at New Orleans at 6 p.m. at the Castle. The Wolfpack head into the season after finishing 2010 ranked second in the SSAC Western Division and return All-Conference standout senior Gina Gill plus All-Division honorees senior Amanda Oldani, junior Samantha Worsham, and sophomore Sabrina Stansberry.
"We have had a productive preseason; I think the energy in the gym has been excellent," said Coach Harold. "Work ethic, they've worked hard. We're not good yet. We have a ways to go but if we keep working the way we're working we're going to get there,"
Senior captain Gina Gill had a record-breaking 2010 season, finishing in the top 10 in the NAIA in three categories: 6th in total kills (643), 9th in kills per set (4.5), and 10th in total service aces. Her 643 kills finished first in the SSAC and her 4.5 kills per set finished second. Currently, she is second in Loyola history in single season kills and third in total career kills (1454).
Senior captain Amanda Oldani returns to the Wolfpack as the team’s impressive libero. She finished her 2010 season 22nd in the NAIA, 8th in the SSAC, and 2nd on the team in total service aces (61). Her 572 season digs ranks 6th in a single season at Loyola while her 1220 career digs ranks her 8th all time.
Joining Gill and Oldani as captain is junior setter Samantha Worsham. Last season Worsham ranked 26th in the NAIA, 1st in the SSAC, and 4th at Loyola in total assists (1287). She also finished 40th in the NAIA in total service aces with 55.
Rounding out the ‘Pack's top returners is the 5-10 middle blocker Sabrina Stansberry. Stansberry made an immediate impression during her freshman campaign. She made the SSAC All-Freshman team and was an All-Louisiana Honorable Mention. She finished 7th in the conference and 2nd on the team in blocks with 88.
"We are excited about the progress our returners have been able to make since the close of last season and look forward to the boost that a strong recruiting class will bring us as we begin the season," Harold continued.
Loyola and SUNO have met four times previously, the Wolfpack taking all four of those meetings. The most recent match between the two teams was October of last year, as the Wolfpack shut out the Lady Knights 3-0 on the road. SUNO is coming off a 10-13 record, hitting .170 and serving .827 a season ago. They ranked 24th in the NAIA with 2.1 serving aces per game. The Knights lost six players from last year’s squad including All-GCAC selection Wyneika Anderson and GCAC Freshman of the Year Veronica Azubuike.
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