NEW ORLEANS, La. – Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team, preparing to enter their fourth season under the direction of head coach Kellie Kennedy, released its 2011-12 schedule today. The schedule has the Wolfpack playing 12 times in the comfortable confines of The DEN.
Coming off another 20 win season, the ‘Pack looks to improve on their record despite the challenging SSAC schedule. Kennedy is making the schedule even tougher with her choice of non-conference opponents. Those additions have Loyola lacing it up 10 times against last year’s post-season tournament participants.
"The coaching staff and the team are really looking forward to getting this season started," Loyola head coach Kellie Kennedy said. "I believe our non-conference schedule is going to help us prepare tremendously for SSAC competition. In addition, I hope these games will help us gain confidence as a team as we head into conference play. We have high expectations for the 2011-12 season. Our leadership, experience and depth should lead to a very exciting season."
Among the non-conference teams appearing in The DEN will be NCAA participants Southeastern Louisiana, Louisiana College, and UNO. The ‘Pack will also play host to NAIA rivals Florida Memorial, Dillard, and Xavier.
Highlighting life on the road, the Wolfpack will compete against conference rivals Southern Weslyan, Brewton Parker, William Carey, Truett McConnell, and Southern Poly, who knocked off Loyola in the conference finals. The ‘Pack also travel to St. Thomas-Houston, Tulane, and Northwestern Louisiana in non-conference action. Tulane and Northwestern Louisiana are both Division I opponents.
Loyola hosts Shorter, Emmanuel, Dillard, Spring Hill, Faulkner, Mobile, and rival Belhaven in SSAC play beginning in December. As the New Year rolls in, the ‘Pack will welcome in conference foes Spring Hill, William Carey, and Auburn University-Montgomery. The AUM game is set as the Hall of Fame game. As for the last month of basketball season, Loyola meets Faulkner, Belhaven and Mobile in the DEN.
The ‘Pack welcome back five players from a season ago including All-Conference members sophomore guard Jasmine Brewer and senior guard Keiva Council. Loyola won 11 games in The DEN last season going 11-3 at home.
“We have great leadership with this year’s team in seniors Keiva Council and Amy Sprout,” said Kennedy. “We can’t ask for two better individuals to lead this team and be ambassadors of this program. We also have more depth than we have had in recent history.”
With a great core of returners, Kennedy welcomes six talented additions to this year’s signing class. It is full of prep stars which bring with them a host of impressive accolades.
“I’m excited about our newcomers,” said Kennedy. “Their individual talents are a great complement to our team. It remains to be seen how quickly they will adjust to the college game, but each of them has shown much potential. We have high expectations for this freshman class.”
The Wolfpack open the season Oct. 27 with at home scrimmage against Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m. The team will travel to St. Thomas in Houston before hosting Florida Memorial in The DEN for the first home game. Loyola will then head on the road for four straight away games. Conference play begins at Southern Weslyan Friday, November 18 at 4:30 p.m.