The Maroon

Volleyball goes back to basics

Psychology+senior+Gina+Gill+passes+during+Tuesday+night%E2%80%99s+game+against+the+University+of+West+Alabama.
Psychology senior Gina Gill passes during Tuesday night’s game against the University of West Alabama.

Psychology senior Gina Gill passes during Tuesday night’s game against the University of West Alabama.

Courtesy of Joe Chance/University of West Alabama

Courtesy of Joe Chance/University of West Alabama

Psychology senior Gina Gill passes during Tuesday night’s game against the University of West Alabama.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Some would describe Tommy Harold’s coaching methods as monotonous. And they probably are. At the beginning of every season, the eighth-year Wolfpack head coach spends a good portion of time introducing the fundamentals of volleyball “The little rocks” as he calls them. The 2011 season is no exception.

But no matter how fruitless it seems, revisiting the basics of passing, blocking and serving works.

Just ask Harold about the Wolfpack’s second-place ranking in the SSAC Western division last season or any one of his three consecutive GCAC championship appearances prior to changing conferences.

“The approach and the philosophy is always the same. We start with very basics things,” Harold said. “It’s important to have a good foundation and be fundamentally sound to play well. A senior may be refining a skill and a freshman could be doing it for the first time the way we want it done; either way, there is always an emphasis on the fundamentals.”

That blueprint, accompanied by All-Conference outside hitter Gina Gill, is what makes Loyola contenders for a conference championship once again and places them in contention to win 20 matches for the fifth time since 2006.

Gill, psychology senior, enjoyed a productive 2010 season, to say the least. She tallied 643 kills, most in the SSAC, en route to finishing top 10 in three NAIA categories. Several other stars are back in the mix as well.

All-Division honorees Amanda Oldani, marketing senior; Samantha Worsham, political science junior; and Sabrina Stansberry, chemistry freshman, round out a star-studded lineup.

“We want to win conference and win the conference tournament,” Oldani said. “To achieve that, we plan to come here and have a good, solid two hour practice where we focus, play aggressive and take good reps.”

Oldani said those goals are very much attainable for the Wolfpack because of the experience they possess.

In addition to the number of returners, perhaps one of their most important strengths, Harold said, is the abundance of talented freshmen vying for playing time. The competition between the newcomers and the returning starters leaves Harold without a definitive starting lineup yet.

“We have a couple of positions where we know what we want to do, and there are others that are still up in the air,” Harold said. “We’re measuring who is winning in practice and throw all the numbers into the what we call the cauldron. There’s competition every week to see who is going to start and play.”

Still, Harold said he welcomes the position he finds himself in. For him, it’s a good problem to have. Harold said the battle for playing time has prevented complacency and provided motivation to leave everything on the court, regardless of the outcome.

“I’ve always been the only setter on the team since my freshman year,” Worsham said, “So having some other setters on the team makes me work ten times harder because I want to keep my spot on the court.”

Harold said the team still needs work in order to become a great team but remains confident the Wolfpack can reach their full potential early in the season. For now, progress remains at the forefront.

“We don’t spend time talking about wins and losses. We talk about getting better,” Harold said. “Our record is a great thing at the end of the day but the way you get there is focusing on the little things. If we can take care of the little things, the wins will take care of themselves.”

Craig Malveaux can be reached at [email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Basketball

    Nov. 8, 1991: Loyola Wolf Pack rises again tonight

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Sports

    Dec. 3, 1926: Wolf Pack defeats Chicago Ramblers by score of 40-14

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Sports

    Apr. 13, 1945: Banquet held for national champion Wolves, Coaches

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Basketball

    Wolf Pack basketball notch pair of wins and one loss over weekend

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Cross Country

    Friendship between two Loyola runners goes beyond the race-trail

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Politics

    Parishes turn fantasy sports into a reality

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Sports

    Volleyball season comes to close with loss to Faulkner

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Sports

    Whatever floats your goat: Yoga class brings out your inner animal

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Columns

    Column: Being a small program makes us great

  • Volleyball goes back to basics

    Basketball

    Loyola women’s basketball adjusts to loss of star players

Navigate Right
Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Volleyball goes back to basics