Sept. 1, 2010
BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland volleyball team will compete in four matches Friday and Saturday, September 3-4, at the Battle of Baltimore. Friday's matches will be held at UMBC and Saturday's at Morgan State.
"The challenge of this tournament is that both days we play back-to-back," said head coach Scott Pennewill. "We want to be able to get a number of players some playing time. So that come the fifth and sixth hour we are still competing at a high level and that fatigue isn't setting in because we had to play our starters the entire time."
At the Battle of Baltimore, the Greyhounds will play Morgan State at 3 p.m. and at UMBC at 6 p.m. The Bears are 1-3 this season, while the Retrievers will open its season against Coppin State on Friday at Noon.
"Morgan State is a scrappy team," said Pennewill. "Offensively you have to key in on there one outside Erin Cox. If she gets hot she can do a lot of damage."
Cox has 39 kills so far this season, playing in 14 sets. In the last eight years that Loyola and Morgan State have played each other they have split six matches with each having won three. They did not play each other in 2007 but Loyola won both matches in 2008 and 2009 three sets to none.
"UMBC is a solid program," added Pennewill. "They are going to be good at every position. So we are going to have to do a very good job at fundamental play but also be able to match up with every one of their athletes.
"That should help us," said Pennewill about UMBC opening season against Coppin State "We have at least three matches of experience under our belt playing at a pretty high level. Hopefully that will help us work out a couple of more things then UMBC is going to have worked out."
On Saturday at Morgan State, the Greyhounds will compete against Coppin State at 1:30 p.m. and Towson at 4:00 p.m. The Eagles are 0-3 for the season and the Tigers are 5-0.
"The first match we need to take seriously," said Pennewill. "I don't think you ever should look at a teams tradition or there lack of success and assume it is going to be an easy win. We are going to go into that giving Coppin respect but also making them earn every point that they get."
In the last eight years that Towson and Loyola have played each other, Towson has won all eight matches include 21 sets to the Greyhounds' four.
"Towson is traditionally strong and a team that we have trouble with," added Pennewill. "We have played them tough in the past. We just have not been able to finish a match."
At the Toledo Rocket Classic last weekend in Toledo, Ohio, the Greyhounds went 1-2.
In the opening match against Toledo Loyola fell 3-1. Senior outside hitter Nina Camaioni (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) turned in a strong double-double effort with 17 kills and 13 digs to lead the Loyola offense.
"We went out in the first set and very much took Toledo by surprise," said Pennewill. "I don't believe that they went into the match thinking that we can play. Toledo is a solid program and played very well at the end."
Loyola split its matches on Saturday, beating Binghamton, 3-0, but losing to No. 12 Michigan, 3-0. Katie Dircks (Stony Brook, N.Y./Ward Melville) and Camaioni helped the Greyhounds to the win over Binghamton with a pair of double-doubles.
Dircks led Loyola with 17 kills and 10 digs, while Camaioni turned out 15 kills and 12 digs. Camaioni was named to the Rocket Classic All-Tournament team for her performances in the three matches of the weekend.
"The Michigan match we competed," said Pennewill. "We set a goal of scoring 30 points for the match and we actually scored 45. To be able to play against a very big physical team and not look out of place I think we competed very well in that match.
"Our focus going in to the last match is lets use this match to be a spring board for the up coming week. No matter what the outcome is lets do the fundamentals well, lets do the tactical things well and let the outcome take care of itself."