NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana announced Thursday a revised schedule for its third annual Big Easy Blastoff volleyball tournament, which will begin Friday.
The five-team, 10-match event has been reduced to three teams and five matches after the withdrawal of Our Lady of the Lake, Texas Wesleyan and Michigan-Dearborn. All three schools cited travel issues in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which primarily caused catastrophic flooding in southeast Texas.
City rival Loyola — whose tournament this week at St. Thomas of Houston was canceled — agreed to join the Blastoff field. The new schedule:
     Friday, Sept. 1
     Rust vs. XULA — 1 p.m.
     Rust vs. Loyola — 4 p.m.
     Loyola vs. XULA — 7 p.m.
     Saturday, Sept. 2
     Loyola vs. Rust — 10 a.m.
     Rust vs. XULA — 1 p.m.
XULA and Loyola were scheduled to play Tuesday (Sept. 5), but their Friday meeting at the Blastoff will replace the Tuesday match.
Admission to the Big Easy Blastoff is $5 per day. Students, faculty and staff with a valid XULA ID will be admitted free.
Although XULA was closed Tuesday because of the possibility of parts of the city experiencing street flooding due to heavy rains from Harvey’s outer feeder bands, the campus received zero damage from the storm and reopened Wednesday.
**Update**
Blastoff scrubbed, but Loyola will visit XULA Friday
 
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana announced Thursday that its Big Easy Blastoff volleyball tournament has been canceled for 2017. But there will be a match Friday at XULA’s Convocation Center.
XULA and city rival Loyola will meet at 6 p.m. on the Gold Nuggets’ home court, four days sooner than originally scheduled.
Earlier Thursday, XULA announced that Blastoff teams Our Lady of the Lake, Texas Wesleyan and Michigan-Dearborn would not participate. All three cited travel issues in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which primarily caused catastrophic flooding in southeast Texas.
Loyola — whose tournament this week at St. Thomas of Houston was canceled — agreed to join XULA and Rust in the Blastoff field. But by mid-afternoon Thursday, Rust — located in northeast Mississippi, dealing with the remnants of Harvey and feeling uneasy about traveling — contacted XULA officials and withdrew.
The Friday meeting between XULA and Loyola will replace their Tuesday match. Admission will be $5, but fans can gain free admission with a donation — toiletries, pet food, blankets, etc. — to XULA’s Harvey relief efforts. Students, staff and faculty with a valid XULA ID will be admitted free.
Although XULA was closed Tuesday because of the possibility of parts of the city experiencing street flooding due to heavy rains from Harvey’s outer feeder bands, the campus received zero damage from the storm and reopened Wednesday.
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