SLU beach volleyball opens 2022 season in Houston
Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022
The Southeastern Louisiana University beach volleyball program opens its 2022 regular season this weekend with four duals at the HBU Tournament in Houston, Texas.
Southeastern will face host HBU at 11 a.m. Friday and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi later that afternoon at 3 p.m. Saturday, the Beach Lions will face ULM at 11 a.m. and New Orleans at 3 p.m. All competition is slated for the sand courts at Third Coast Volleyball Club.
With the bulk of its experience returning, SLU and head coach Jeremy White enter the season with a new No.1 pairing.
“Our ones are Jolie Hidalgo and Meagan Scuderi,” White said. “They’ve been lights out, the best two in practice each week. It’s exciting to see them grow together. Meagan has played with a lot of different partners and is the kind player who makes everyone she is paired with better. Jolie has a similar aspect, always making big winner plays on the indoor side. Having a full beach season where she can train all spring will go a long way for her. It already has because she’s really leading us right now.”
Scuderi picked up six individual wins last season with partner Mikayla Richard in the top flight, but Richard has graduated and is now serving as the program’s volunteer assistant coach.
The Beach Lions’ winningest duo last season, Hannah Barosh and Michelle Mirarchi, begin the season paired with different teammates as White looks for the best combinations for each flight.
“We may tweak our twos through fives,” White said. “Partners may change. There is one group that is pretty sustainable. We’re just not sure where they fit in the overall scheme.
Returning to join Barosh (8-14), Hidalgo (1-6), Mirarchi (8-14) and Scuderi (6-16) on the sand this spring are Ariana Hebert (0-6), Linsey Sackett (2-18) and Eryn Wilks (4-18).
Newcomers Hannah Brewer, Avery Carroll, Allison Haerer, Bailey Lyons, Jackie McGee, MacKenzie McLaughlin, Jolie Savoie and Mabry Ward give the Southeastern a full stable of beach athletes heading into year number three.
The first two years of the fledgling program certainly did not go as planned, with its inaugural season cut short after one week and the second season spent short-handed because of the simultaneous indoor season last spring, but White is looking forward to a return to normal this spring.
“It would have been nice to have that first year of experience under our belt,” White said. “For the most part, though, we feel good about where are right now. We’ve brought in a good group of beach-only athletes who did a great job of developing over the fall. Meanwhile, our returning student-athletes were able to build on their growth. Overall, we’re excited about where we stand heading into the season.”
Last season, the Beach Lions got a full season under their belt, but not only were; they playing with a minimal roster but White was also with the indoor squad for the majority of the season.
“Our assistant coach Macabe Rappold has done a phenomenal job,” White said. “He ran the program last year for the most part. We were all at practice, but it was really his show once we started playing on the road because the indoor season was also going on at the same time. He did a great job leading our training in the fall under a similar situation.”
While the program may be down a year in experience, White feels that the last two years have led to what could be a key season in the growth of the Southeastern beach volleyball program.
“I feel pretty confident about us turning the corner into a winning program this year,” White said. “I think we’ve made a big leap. It’s yet to be tested, of course, but we’ll finally get to see how our new, young student-athletes match up in a college atmosphere.
Southeastern hosts the first regular-season home event in program history, March 5, against Texas A&M-Kingsville. Action is slated to get underway at 4 p.m. at the Southeastern Beach Volleyball Complex located in North Oak Park.
DIGGIN’ IT CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the Southeastern volleyball program are encouraged to join the Diggin’ It Club. Lion volleyball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diggin’ It Club and S Club (volleyball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern volleyball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lady Lions Volleyball, follow @LionUpBeach or @JWhiteSLU on Twitter, @LionUpBeach on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.