A motivation for Loyola women’s volleyball in a historic season
CHICAGO – From the moment they stepped onto the floor during the 2022 season, they’ve played like a motivated team, and their accomplishments are proof.
Loyola women’s volleyball completed their first season in the Atlantic 10 conference with a 17-1 record to win the regular season title. On November 19 and 20, they captured the conference tournament championship in St. Louis with a win over George Washington and then Dayton.
It came after Loyola had lost in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship match the previous two years.
But the third time was the charm in the A10 tourney as the Ramblers locked up a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history. Their first round game is Thursday in Lexington against host Kentucky at 6:30 PM.
“The team was very, very motivated. They were intense and focused throughout the rest of the season,” said head coach Amanda Berkley, who was named the Atlantic 10’s coach of the year. “It been an exciting finish to the year and just to finally get rewarded with the third time in the conference championship. So we finally got over the hump and got to the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s very exciting.”
While motivated to make the tournament after a few close calls, the Ramblers were also playing for someone else during this time.
The “Win 4 Kim” theme has been used by Loyola’s women’s volleyball over the past two seasons in support of Kim McNabb, the mother of junior Karlie McNabb.
The Ramblers used it when she was diagnosed with cancer during the 2021 season as a way to show support for her and Karlie. They’ve continued to do so even after Kim died in September of this year, using the #Win4Kim motto as they enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history.
“It’s really just playing for someone other than themselves and playing for something bigger than themselves,” said head coach Amanda Berkley when talking about the team playing in support and then in memory of Kim. “The team has really done that and bought in.”
As the team continued to use “Win 4 Kim,” McNabb had a great season for the Ramblers as she was named the A10’s regular season player of the year and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
“I think she really enjoys the support from her teammates it helps her just a ton to kinda cope with what has happened,” said Berkley of McNabb. “I think she also feels like a sense of purpose by highlighting a cancer that’s maybe not as known and wearing the green.
“I think she really enjoys the support that she gets from everybody, including the team and fans.”
It will continue on Thursday when the Ramblers will try to keep getting a “Win 4 Kim” on the biggest stage in college volleyball.
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