Volleyball prepares for postseason


Sunni Blanchard, English writing senior, serves a ball up in the Early Bird Invitational, August 17, 2019. Photo credit: Andrew Lang

Breanna Henry

With the women’s volleyball season coming to a close, Head Coach, Jesse Zabal said she was proud of the players’ fight through the season.

“We have had a couple of great wins this season, including beating University of Mobile for the first time since 2012,” Zabal said. “We also started off our conference schedule with our first-ever win against Florida College, which contributed to our strongest conference start since joining the Southern States.”

Despite having a young team, Zabal said she didn’t let that hinder the players’ performances on the court.

“We have a very young team this year, however, I believe that has also been one of our strengths,” Zabal said. “While a lot of learning comes with a young team, our newcomers have contributed to much of our success. Our returners also came back strong and have showed great leadership and experience throughout the season.”

As the regular season closes out, Zabal is looking forward to the next few matches.

“We have four very important conference matches and four non-conference matches that we intentionally scheduled to keep us in tune and help prepare us for the conference tournament in mid-November,” Zabal said.

Alongside Zabal, mass communication freshman and outside hitter, Brittany Cooper strove to progress with the team.

“We were putting in a lot of hard work in practice and at workouts, working to minimize our errors during each set,” Cooper said. “We also played a lot of good competition in order to prepare for the conference tournament and the national tournament.”

According to Cooper, all that hard work payed off for one of the games against a tougher team this season.

“My favorite game so far would have to be our home game versus Mobile because we all played really well together, and beat a team that Loyola hasn’t beaten in years,” Cooper said.

Although she feels her performance on the court was overall good, Cooper said she sees where she could get better for postseason.

“I plan on minimizing my errors during each set and game, improving on seeing the block when I am hitting as well as improving my communication on the court,” Cooper said. “I am also working on finding the open spots on the court so we can decrease the number of long rallies and finish games faster.”

Throughout the season, in the midst of the hard work and matches with other teams, Cooper said there have been some fun moments off the court.

“My favorite moments are when we travel or go out to eat as a team, because everyone is really fun to be around,” Cooper said.

Overall, Cooper expressed that the team is in great shape for the postseason matches coming up.

“We lost to some teams during the season, but we have been working on the little things to improve our play,” Cooper said. “I know that we can beat them when we face them again in the conference tournament.”

The women’s volleyball team will be closing out the regular season with home games on Nov. 5, 8 and 9.