With the season opener against BYU looming, Loyola coach Mark Hulse talked about his team, newcomers and returners, and excitement to get the season started.
Regarding the freshman class, including outside hitters Devin Joslyn and Thomas Kovanic and setter Garrett Zolg, Hulse said the group has brought a lot to the table.
“They have done a good job of not only getting used to how we do things here but also kind of having an impact on that. I think it has been an important piece of how we have found our identity and will keep finding that as we go through the regular season as we face live fire. I think it has sort of changed our gym with some of the young guys and has been really positive.”
As for returning stars, Hulse said senior middle blocker Jeff Jendryk is primed to lead the team again in 2018 following a first team All-America campaign last year and a stint with Team USA at the 2017 FIVB World League tournament.
“Jendryk is playing really, really well, he is leading at a pretty good level as well. I think he kind of radiates what he learned over the summer. He was surrounded by guys who are used to doing it at a high level and with a high level of professionalism and he is doing a good job of that.”
With depth at many positions, Hulse said he is excited to get his team out on the road.
“Definitely tough teams in a tough environment, but BYU is a lot of fun and what they do up there at their gym is pretty special, so we are looking forward to that. It is good to get on the road early on because the team is really together in minivans and going to In-N-Out and all of that kind of stuff where you get a little more comradery.”
First serve for tomorrow's season opener @BYUvolleyball is a little more than 24 hours away! Hear from coach @MarkHulseVB about the 2018 campaign. #OnwardLU #MIVAvb pic.twitter.com/IoKjlyQ2et
— LUC Men's Volleyball (@LUMVB) January 4, 2018
The Ramblers went 16-12 in 2017, including a 9-7 mark in MIVA play.
Loyola kicks off the 2018 campaign in Provo, Utah, facing No. 3 BYU and No. 7 UC Irvine. Both matches will be streamed live, the first on BYUTV and the second on WCCSports.
Links to both matches and others throughout the season are available on the VolleyMob TV and streaming schedule.