Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Beach volleyball season ends in quarterfinals

Gabby Masiello jump serving. Courtesy of Brittany Cooper.

The women’s beach volleyball team finished their season with a 7-3 conference record in the team’s third year of competing.

Under second-year head coach Robert “Robbie” Pitre, the Wolf Pack displayed growth from last season, in which the team only won four conference games. Both the players and coaches noticed the shift that the team went through this year.

Pitre said that experience and having returning players were aspects that made a difference for the team.

“We only lost one senior,” Pitre said. “A majority of the girls who are on the team right now didn’t have a lot of beach experience when we first started playing. And so going through all of last year and the past two seasons, we had a young team. Now we’re in an upperclassmen situation, and the experience has shown.”

The players said that they saw the progression in the team’s performance. In her second year on the team, business management senior Emily Sheperis said coaching was important in the team being able to improve.

“I believe Coach Robbie is a big factor in our success 100%,” Sheperis said. “Without him, I don’t think this program would be so successful so fast.”

Like Sheperis, business administration junior Rosemary Vanney said that Pitre’s dedication and care made a “huge impact.”

“Coach Robbie spared no effort in creating the best conditions for this team,” Vanney said. “Whether it was spending his weekends making sure we had dry courts for the week, arriving an hour before practices to rake courts, or even staying after to offer an open space if any player needed to talk. He does it because he genuinely cares.”

The players’ ability to work through varying circumstances contributed to their growth. Throughout the season, the Wolf Pack faced adversities such as injuries, illnesses, and weather delays. However, Pitre said that they approached those moments with the intention to improve.

“Every week, it’s something new,” Pitre said. “We just have this mindset that it doesn’t matter what situation that we show up in.

Whether it be 40-degree weather, 40 mph winds, or we have someone sick, our mindset is to focus on getting better even if it’s just 1% better.”

Although the team put together a strong season, the Wolf Pack was unable to make it past the quarterfinals in the Sun Conference Championship tournament. After sweeping the Truett McConnell University Bears 3-0 in the first round on Friday, the Wolf Pack fell in their final two games of the Sun Conference Championship. The team was defeated 2-3 in games against the Ave Maria University Gyrenes and Mobile Rams.

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