Five years ago, the Fairfield University athletics program could have never predicted the records and achievements that Lou Lopez-Sénéchal ‘22 would go on to shatter and continue to break even after her time as a Stag has ended. The alumna not only established her mark within Fairfield’s court, but on the University of Connecticut’s and soon enough, College Park Center’s too.
Early Life & Background
As the daughter of Carlos López and Sophie Sénéchal, Lou was born in Guadalajara, Mexico—yet, she spent her entire childhood in France as described in an article by ESPN. She grew up naturally athletic, as she dabbled in many sports including soccer and basketball, but decidedly stuck to the latter as she felt like “an equal” on the court even though her teammates were mostly older than her. As you can imagine, the rest is history.
Her Road to Fairfield
In 2017, Lopez-Sénéchal left France to attend North Atlantic’s Basketball Academy located in Dublin, Ireland, which sparked the thought of playing collegiate basketball in America.
After applying to 280 schools in the United States, as shared in an article by ESPN, she heard back from a handful of colleges that offered scholarships. Among those were University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Tulsa, University of Akron, University of Duquesne and finally, Fairfield University.
Joe Frager, Fairfield University’s Women’s Basketball head coach at the time, invited Lopez-Sénéchal to Fairfield, where he assessed her athletic ability as well as her personality. Following the interaction, she sent in her acceptance letter, acquiring her full-ride as a Stag and plotted her move to Fairfield, Conn.
Time as a Stag
In 2018, Lopez-Sénéchal joined Fairfield’s women’s basketball team at the height of 6 ‘1 at the age of 19. And, throughout her four years as a Stag, she became highly decorated.
Lopez-Sénéchal was announced as the MAAC Rookie of the Year in 2019 as well as three-time MAAC All-Academic Team (2020-2022) and three-time All-MAAC First Team. In 2022, her senior year at Fairfield, she was named MAAC Player of the Year (only the third Stag in history) and the MAAC Championship Most Outstanding Player, as she made her way onto the 1,000 point club after shooting 604 in the 2021-2022 season, totaling her career points to 1,598 thus far.
Most notably, during her final season as a Stag, she led the team to the program’s first ever MAAC Championship win in over twenty years, as she scored 24 points against Manhattan College. This secured them a spot in the 2021-2022 NCAA Championship, which unfortunately led to a 52-70 loss against University of Texas despite Lopez-Sénéchal’s 17 baskets.
According to fairfieldstags.com, Lopez-Sénéchal left a lasting impact in Stag history as “she ranks top-ten in program history in six categories,” which includes sixth in career points, sixth in 3-point field goals made (170) and second in 3-point percentage (.391).
A Year at UConn
Following four years of her undergrad at Fairfield, Lopez-Sénéchal walked across the Bellarmine lawn and went on to join the University of Connecticut’s classrooms and basketball court. On April 23, 2022, she posted on her official announcement on Instagram @loulpzs revealing her addition to Geno Auriemma’s well-known team: “Very blessed and excited for this opportunity and to begin this next chapter! Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point.”
As a Husky, Lopez-Sénéchal played a total of 1,161 minutes, allowing her to earn 575 points and a 3-point average of .440. Following their 2022-2023 season record of 31-6, and AAC Championship game against Villanova, Lopez-Sénéchal and her team secured a spot for the annual March Madness tournament.
While the Huskies made their way into the Sweet Sixteen, they ended up losing to Ohio State with a 61-73 final score. Nevertheless, Lopez-Sénéchal ended her last collegiate match with a solid 25 points totaling her collegiate career to a combined score of 2,173 points between her four seasons as a Stag and one at UConn.
Lopez-Sénéchal earned First Team All-Big East and Big East All-Tournament team for the 2022-2023 basketball season.
Earning Her “Wings”
On April 10, 2023 the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) held their 28th annual draft at Spring Studios in New York City. Eligible athletes consisted of NCAA Division I players that turn 22 years old during the year of the draft or are within three months of graduating from a four-year university. Lopez-Sénéchal not only checked the boxes of both of these requirements, but due to her undeniable skill and passion for the game, she was the fifth-overall draft pick for the Dallas Wings
As a result, Lopez-Sénéchal made Stag history as she is the first Fairfield University alumni to ever earn their spot onto a WNBA team.
On her Instagram @loulpzs three days later on April 13, posted a smiling picture with the caption: “Hearing my name being called at the WNBA Draft is a moment I never thought would happen one day … But it did a couple days ago, and I will cherish it for the rest of my life. Crazy what a year can do to you. Super excited for the next chapter.”
The now 24-year-old will make her first appearance as a Pegasus with their first regular season match on May 20 at 1 p.m., only one week following her UConn graduation.