St. Thomas More has had a pretty good run lately in the annual State Volleyball Tournament in Kenner, taking home golden state championship trophies three years in a row. On Thursday they got to sweep.
The Cougars, the No. 1 seed in the Division II bracket and the clear favorite to win a fourth trophy, swept No. 8 seed Academy of Our Lady 25-11, 25-23, 25-17 to advance to Friday’s semifinal round of play in the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
St. Thomas More will play No. 5 seed Belle Chasse (37-6), which swept Central 25-11, 25-23, 25-17, at 4:30 p.m. In the other semifinal, No. 3 seed Assumption will face No. 7 seed Cabrini at 4:30 p.m. The Mustangs (34-7) defeated No. 6 seed St. Scholastica (22-10) in a five-game match, 23-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-13. Assumption, which has won eight titles (the last in 2009) was the runner-up to St. Thomas More last year. Cabrini outlasted No. 2 seed Ben Franklin 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 18-25, 15-11 to advance to the semifinals.
St. Thomas More went into Thursday’s matchup with an impressive record of 42-1. Then they impressed on the court. Catherine Aillet finished with 13 kills, followed by Maddy Aucoin with nine. Meredyth Howard had six blocks and Sarah Trotter had three. Avery Breaux led with four aces and Aillet had three. Breaux also had 32 assists.
But Cougars coach Jessica Burke said it took a little time for her team to find its rhythm on Thursday. The Penguins (28-10), played St. Thomas More close at times, especially in the second game.
“We didn’t know much about this team,” Burke said. “They definitely threw us a little bit with the system they have. It took us a little time to figure it out.”