Masone leads as lone volleyball senior


Helene Masone poses in the Den on Feb. 25. Masone is the only senior on the Wolf Pack volleyball team this season. Photo credit: Shadera Moore

Alex Akes

After three years as a starter for Loyola’s volleyball team, Helene Masone said she’s ready to help lead the Wolf Pack toward a bright future.

“Every year we get better and better. The team is definitely growing in a positive direction and I’m excited for what the future brings us,” said Masone.

Head Coach Jesse Zabal will be coaching her fourth season at Loyola this year. Masone will be the last player recruited by the previous head coach of the Wolf Pack, according to Zabal.

“Helene ended up earning a starting spot her freshman year and really hasn’t lost that spot since then. I think just her persistence really stood out from the beginning of just what she’s wanted to accomplish both academically and athletically,” said Zabal.

Masone, originally from Destin, Florida, played in 31 matches as a freshman and led the team in total digs with 452, which was the fifth-highest number in the SSAC, according to Wolf Pack Athletics. Masone finished her junior season ranked seventh in program history in total career digs with 1,431, according to Wolf Pack Athletics. Masone has her sights set on accomplishing more this season.

“One of my individual goals for this season would be getting placed at least in the top five for dig leaders in Loyola’s record-book,” said Masone. “As far as team goals, we definitely want rings, win our conference championship and go to nationals.”

As a sophomore, Masone led the team with 459 digs and finished third with 98 assists. During her next season as a junior, she recorded a team-high 508 digs and logged 106 assists, according to Wolf Pack Athletics.

“She’s been a phenomenal athlete and volleyball player since her freshman year,” Zabal said. “She’s just steady. She wants to be on the court and she’s very mentally capable of just grounding herself and making sure she’s there for her team all of the time.”

Despite being older than her teammates, Masone said that the team meshes well together regardless of age.

“I’m really happy to play with this team and be a part of it, they’re really awesome,” said Masone. “We have a lot of fun together and always have each other’s backs. I love their energy about life and volleyball.”

“I just try to be there for my team on and off the court. I think that it’s really important to check up on my teammates to make sure everyone’s doing well, whether it’s dealing with volleyball or just in general,” said Masone.

Masone’s leadership presence on and off the court is constantly felt by the team, according to Zabal.

“The team knows they can rely on her on the court, she’s gonna be there and be steady throughout the whole game,” said Zabal. “Even if she misses a serve, we’re confident that the next time around she’s gonna get it in and it’s gonna be a really strong aggressive serve. If she misses one dig, she’s not worried about missing the next one.”

Now as the only senior on the Wolf Pack, Masone has been reflecting on her time as an underclassman.

“One of my favorite memories and maybe defining moment on the team was probably my first ever home game at Loyola,” said Masone. “It was a big test for me as a freshman and it just felt good to be playing with the team in the Loyola gym. I really don’t even remember who we played, but I do know we won and played really well together.”