Games planned with money and players in mind

Part one of a three-part series about scheduling


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Even though the out-of-conference schedule has no effect on conference standings, out-of-conference opponents are still carefully considered.

Head volleyball coach Tommy Harold and athletic director Micheal Giorlando review the possible out-of-conference opponents and decide where the team will travel to compete.

The Wolf Pack had the third-best overall winning percentage in the Southern States Athletic Conference with a record of 28-9. But with a 7-7 record against SSAC opponents, Loyola only finished seventh, behind five teams with better conference records.

Giorlando said that Harold will review the competitiveness of the teams they are playing, but also said that strength of opponents is not the only factor at play when looking to go on a long road trip to play an out-of-conference school.

“When coach Harold submits the contracts for me to sign, we talk about certain road trips and the value of going to certain places,” Giorlando said. “We think it’s important to try to go back and play some of your non-conference games in the home towns of some of your players. We help coordinate that.”

The Pack played in the Illinois Tech Tournament in Chicago, Il. There were three Illinois natives on this year’s roster, including Chicago native and political science senior Sam Worsham.

The decision on where the team travels is also a financial one. Giorlando said that some team’s contracts include compensation for costs associated with travel in order to entice Loyola to play them on the road.

“Some schools will give transportation,” Giorlando said “Some schools will provide hotel rooms, some provide meals, so you try to negotiate the best deal you can get.”

Loyola made three major road trips outside of its conference. Including the trip to Chicago, Loyola also played matches in Jackson, Miss. and Houston, Tx.

Giorlando plays a key role in helping get long road trips approved, but said that he trusts the coaches to pick the right opponent for his team.

Hasani Grayson can be reached at [email protected] 

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