Not a single member of the current Mandeville volleyball team had played in a state tournament volleyball game in the Pontchartrain Center before Thursday night.
They did earn a chance for at least one more after a big win.
Second-seeded Mandeville defeated 10th-seeded Comeaux in four games (25-14, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16) in the Division I state quarterfinal night-capper Thursday night.
With the win, Mandeville (35-16) advances to take on Archbishop Chapelle in the state semifinals Friday at 3:30.
“To this team’s credit we have been able to come back when we needed to after letting our opponent have some success,” Skippers coach Jody Walker said. “I’m so proud of my team for coming back they way they did and never giving up. Just continuing to fight until the very end for every point.”
The Skippers were led by junior Sam Gomez who had 17 kills. Emily Boylan had 14 kills and Madison Bothner had 12.
Brandy Bundy had a game-high 44 assists and Regan Rogers and Haley combined for 25 digs.
Comeaux (25-16) was led by Paige Dupuis who had 13 kills. Lacey Menard also had 18 digs in the loss.
“Towards the end of game three and into game four it felt like we were running out of juice,” Comeaux coach Kristen Fabacher said. “We played really well in the beginning and I credit my team for doing that. We just ran up against a very good Mandeville team tonight.”
Chapelle 3, St. Joseph’s 2:
There will be no return trip to the Division I championship match for St. Joseph’s.
The third-seeded Redstickers fell to No. 6 Chapelle in the Division I state quarterfinals Thursday night.
The Chipmunks (21-16) defeated the Redstickers (28-12) in four games, 20-25, 25-20, 28-26 and 25-14.
Chapelle advances to the state quarterfinals Friday to take on the winner of No. 10 Comeaux and No. 2 Mandeville. The Division I semifinals get underway at 3:30.
St. Joseph’s was led by Fran Okpalobi who had 11 kills and eight blocks. Erin Landry added nine kills and Hannah Beene had five blocks in the loss. Melanie Miller and Megan Welsh combined for 64 digs for the Redstickers.
It was a competitive match throughout with no team ever holding a lead bigger than five points in the first three games.
, St. Joseph’s benefited from a 7-3 run already up 19-17 in the opening game to close out Chapelle 25-20.
Chapelle tied the match back up 1-1 with a 25-20 win in the second game. St. Joseph’s would tie the second game at 13-13, but a quick 5-2 Chipmunk run gave Chapelle the lead back for good at 18-15 en route to the victory.
St. Joseph’s fought off four game points in game three to tie the third game back up at 25-25 and then again at 26-26 before Chapelle scored the final two points of the match to take a 28-26 win to grab the all important 2-1 match lead.
Riding the momentum of the game three victory, the Chipmunks easily won game four 25-13.
“We weren’t able to get off to quick starts in any of the games tonight,” SJA coach Sivi Miller said. “We seemed to be playing behind in all four games. It was a great game between two evenly matched teams, but give them (Chapelle) credit. They stepped up and made the plays when they had to.
“We just couldn’t put the ball away offensively. This was a well played volleyball match that saw a lot of long rallies.”
Chapelle was led by Kayla Joner who had a game-high 22 kills and two blocks. Alexis Jones also had 10 kills. Hannah Volpi also had an outstanding game for the Chipmunks with 41 digs and 38 assists in the win.
“Couldn’t be any more proud of my team for this win,” Chipmunks coach Shannon Spafford said.
“What a volleyball match. This is what our girls train for all year long. These types of games, executing and doing their jobs. It a match like this isn’t fun, I don’t know what is.”