Walking around the McNeese campus one will spot students walking with dorm room stuff, fans, lil fridges, lots of books, and, some of the students even wander around aimlessly staring straight ahead in a daze (freshmen) as the back to school hysteria hangs in the air like the promise of that new cool front lowering the humidity a tad.

On the other hand, the McNeese Cowgirls volleyball team are one group of students who are laser-focused on this year's mission and ready to get the season started this weekend by competing in the Samford Invitational, in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Cowgirls open against Samford with first serve Friday at 12:30 pm. At 5 pm they'll face Kennesaw State and the action culminates with a match against Loyola-Chicago on Saturday at Noon.

A release from Pam LaFosse at McNeese, in part, said this: The Cowgirls return nine letter winners including only two seniors, all of which have extensive playing time under their belt. Five freshmen along with one redshirt freshman will be making their collegiate debut.

The Cowboys are coming off their most successful season since 07 and returns the core of the squad that went 19-13 overall and 10-6 in conference in 17. The core includes 9 letter winners only two of whom are seniors and all with extensive on-court experience. There are five freshmen and a redshirt freshman breaking onto the college courts for their first times.

SFA Ranked to Win Conference

The Southland Conference preseason poll for 2018 has McNeese in at 8th place. SFAs Ladyjacks ranked at No. 1 is the odds-on favorite to repeat their 2017 (14-2) title run and win it again, then Central Arkansas at two, Houston Baptist, Abilene Christian, Northwestern State and Sam Houston State at number seven all lining up ahead of the Cowgirls in the preseason slosh of opinions.

In the LaFosse release Head Coach Ashleigh Fitzgerald said: From what I’ve seen in preseason practice, we are a lot better than what the preseason poll has us picked.

The preseason poll is comprised of votes from head coaches and sports information directors from each SLC volleyball school. One is not permitted to vote for one's own school.

Photo: McNeese Sports, Evan Lewis, Pam LaFosse

See the Team In Scrimmage Action

You'll get a glimpse of this years squad Tuesday (21 Aug 18) as they line up on campus in Memorial Gymnasium at 6:30 pm for the annual Blue/Gold scrimmage.

See more and get the full McNeese Cowgirl Volleyball 2018 schedule by clicking here.