Much like it has done all season long, St. Thomas More made it look easy Friday.
Now, the Cougars will play for their fourth consecutive championship.
St. Thomas more defeated Belle Chasse 3-0 (25-14, 25- 15, 25-19) in the Division II semifinals at the Pontchartrain Center.
“The fact that it’s our senior year makes it so much better,” Maddy Aucoin said. “We are really focused. We always play really well once we get to state. We work hard all year long, and then when we get here, it just all comes together.”
St. Thomas More, the top seed in Division II, will play No. 7 seed Cabrini at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I think its going to be a great game,” St. Thomas More coach Jessica Burke said. “I’m looking forward to a good quality match.”
Burke got a splendid performance from her team Friday. The Cougars have yet to drop a game in the playoffs this season, and that dominance was never in jeopardy Friday against the No. 5 Cardinals (37-8).
“I thought the girls did a good of coming out and playing strong and not backing down at all,” Burke said.
Aucoin finished with 12 kills, while Merdyth Howard and Sarah Trotter had eight kills each.
Avery Breaux finished with 33 assists and Victoria Landry had 13 digs.
“As far as the last three championship teams, the mentality is the same,” Burke said. “The thing that makes this team unique is that we have so many kids who are just so versatile.”
While St. Thomas More has cruised in the playoffs, its Saturday opponent has had to grit out a pair of five-game wins in the quarterfinals to get to the championship.
Cabrini rallied from a 2-1 game deficit Friday to beat No. 3 Assumption in five games (25-23, 18-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-8) and reach the championship match for the first time since 2011.
Rakell Spencer, also a standout in basketball for the Crescents, led Cabrini with 33 kills.
“You don’t get players like her too often,” Cabrini coach Kasey Laird said. “More than her talent, it’s her drive to win. You can see it in her face and her actions. She is one of the big reasons why we are here.”
Laird is in her first season as coach at her alma mater. She played on the Cabrini team that won the state title in 2007.
Now, she is hoping to coach the New Orleans school to its fifth title.
But she knows a tall task is ahead in St. Thomas More.
“They are a team that doesn’t make errors,” said Laird. “We are going to have to play our best game and we’ll see what happens.”