For the first time since 2008, the Division V championship trophy won’t be making its way from the Pontchartrain Center back to the Country Day campus in Metairie.
Ascension Episcopal brought Country Day’s six-year reign to a halt Saturday.
Led by a stellar effort by freshman Addie Vidrine, Ascension Episcopal outlasted Country Day in a 25-23, 35-33, 31-33, 27-25, 18-16 marathon that lasted 2½ hours.
“I have never had this feeling before in my entire life,” Vidrine said. “This is better than winning nationals.”
The loss ended the chances of a 1 vs. 2 all -New Orleans area final.
Top-seeded McGehee cruised past Ascension Catholic 25-6, 25-16, 25-9 in the other semifinal.
McGehee will go for its sixth state title and first since 2008 on Saturday morning when it plays against an Ascension Episcopal team that avenged its loss in last year’s championship game.
Ascension Episcopal will be going for its first state title.
“Our goal was to be in the state championship and to be state champs,” Blue Gators coach Jill Braun said. “It didn’t matter who was on the other side of the court from us today. It wasn’t about beating Country Day, It was about winning the semis and going to the finals. You have to forget who you are playing against.”.
Vidrine finished with a jaw-dropping 49 kills. Mary Catherine Franques finished with 72 assists.
Alaina Hardy had 19 kills and 28 digs. Katherine Broussard finished with 39 assists and Carolina Cordova had 29 assists.
Country Day seemed to be in control early, racing out to an 8-2 lead in the first game.
That’s when Ibieta injured her ankle and the Blue Gators battled back to take a 13-11 lead.
Ibieta returned and Country Day prevailed in the first game25-22. But that was just the appetizer for things to come. Ascension won the second game 35-33. Country Day responded by winning the third one 33-31. Then Ascension won the fourth one 27-25, despite trailing 24-21 at one point with the match (and the season) on the line.
“Honestly, I’m speechless,” said Braun. “(To be down) 24-21 to battle back in the fourth game to win, I couldn’t be more proud. Without a question, this is the most impressive match I’ve ever coached in.”