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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola fall sports teams are back in action


Gearing up for a new season requires planning and preparation, and Loyola’s fall sports teams are ready to resume play and hit the ground running.

Holly Hanscom, a senior student-athlete for Loyola’s women’s rowing team, has high hopes for the upcoming season. She has a positive outlook as it relates to getting her team back in the water. She said, “My team and I are super excited to get back out on the water and start taking strokes again. We’re all excited to be reunited with our One Hound Family in September.”

Reconvening with teammates is a fun time of the year for any sports team, and the men’s and women’s cross country teams feel the same way. Amy Horst has been the head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country teams for twelve years, and she expressed optimism going into this season. She said, “The vibe is fast and excited! Over the spring both teams learned a lot and continued developing, our sport is truly year round with three championships (cross country, indoor and outdoor track) so there is both pressure and opportunity to keep progressing.”

Once the fall season is underway, teams must find ways to stay competitive throughout the season. Chris Baloga is the head men’s golf coach at Loyola, and he strives for consistency across his entire team. He said, “Our roster is full of players that are capable of great rounds, we just need them to continue to improve so that their lesser rounds are still competitive and keep us in contention at tournaments throughout the season.” 

While establishing a rhythm can happen during games, it can also happen outside of games. Hanscom explains how building up the rowing team’s community and culture can lead to success in and out of the water. She said, “Getting together and really pushing each other to succeed both on the water and academically while also developing our team friendships will translate into the way we row in our lineups.”

Building a sense of camaraderie across a team is vital for success. Horst describes how both the men’s and women’s cross country teams have similar, yet different keys to success this upcoming season. She said, “Keys to success for the men are teamwork (racing as a team versus as an individual) and finding the balance between confidence and humbleness to be successful. For the women we’re looking to grow in competitiveness; the student-athletes are all very kind and I’m looking for them to get a bit more edgy out on the course.”

Every athlete is important to every team, and at Loyola, there are several that are returning this fall to try and guide their teams to a Patriot League Championship and further glory. Loyola’s men’s golf team is the two-time defending Patriot League Champion, and Baloga said there are a few returners from that team on this year’s roster. He said, “Top returners from the PL Championship starting team last season are Carlo Pizzano, Michael Crowley, Matthew Malits and Jackson Roman.”

When a team wants to win a conference title, it must start building from the ground up. The Loyola women’s rowing team is exemplifying that motto by returning a few underclassmen who are primed to improve this season. Hanscom said, “We have some great underclassmen who really showed and increased their skills and abilities last season. Katherine Convery, Lindsey Bonavita, and Maura Budd are three of my teammates who I expect to make a huge impact on this season.”

Loyola student-athletes playing to their full potential is exciting to watch, and another piece of excitement is when they find out who their opponents are. Loyola’s men’s golf schedule this fall wastes no time getting its players onto the brightest stage. Baloga said, “Our biggest competition we see is right out of the gates in the fall season as we play tournaments in September hosted by Duke and then Northwestern. These are great opportunities for us to play against the best teams in the country and see how we measure up.”

Gaining experience by playing different teams throughout the season gets a team prepared for conference championships. For Loyola’s cross country teams, Horst stressed how beneficial it will be for her teams to participate in a couple of key races before Patriot League Championships. She said, “We do get to race the ECAC and IC4A Championship prior to Patriot League Championships this year, which is brand new and an unique opportunity to see a more broad “super region” scene before we get to the primary focus, Patriot League Championships.”

Excitement is in the air for Loyola’s fall sports teams to kick off their seasons, and the athletes, coaches and entire Loyola community are eager to see how it all unfolds. Baloga expressed his excitement for his returning players and the new additions. He said, “More than half of the team is returners, but we have more new players this year (4) than we have added in about 5 years.  I expect many of the new guys to have an instant impact in our success this season.”

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Loyola fall sports teams are back in action