Loyola University Maryland will travel to Morgantown, W.Va., for the Mountaineer Invitational to open its 2012 schedule.
The Greyhounds will play Central Connecticut at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 24, before taking on St. Francis (Pa.) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 25. Loyola wraps up the event at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday with a match against host West Virginia.
Opponent Look Back
West Virginia finished the 2011 season with a 7-19 record and a 5-9 mark in the BIG EAST Conference. Central Connecticut was 20-11 a year ago, going 11-5 in the Northeast Conference to finish third in the league. St. Francis (Pa.) wrapped up last season at 10-21 and went 5-11 in the same conference.
The Greyhounds finished eight in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season with an 8-23 overall mark, 5-13 in the league.
Almost Everyone Back
Loyola will have 13 players back from a 16-player 2011 roster that did not have any seniors. Of that group, 99.8-percent of the kills from last year return, along with 99.2-percent of total blocks, 94.9-percent of digs and 94.0-percent of service aces.
This year's team is still relatively young with just two seniors. Jake Lawrence's club has six juniors and five sophomores.
On The Attack
Tina Catanach returns as the team's leading hitter after putting away an average of 2.71 kills per set (304 total) last season. She will be joined on the outside by Faye Lukas (247, 2.25) and Lauren Arnold (93, 1.69).
Katie Dircks, who was limited to back-row play due to an injury last season, is also back in a Green-and-Gray uniform this season. During her first two seasons at Loyola, she recorded 586 kills, an average of 2.56 a set.
In The Middle
Jac Bullock, Mindy Maloney and Simone Reid reutrn in the middle for the Greyhounds. Bullock was the team Most Valuable Player last season, recording 248 kills (2.24 kps) and 56 total blocks, while Maloney led the team with 69 blocks and chipped in with 139 kills.