The LHSAA released its brackets for the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state volleyball tournament Monday, setting up a postseason in which several Acadiana teams find themselves in the fray.
When playoff action begins Tuesday, the highest-seeded Acadiana teams will enjoy a bye to the second round.
St. Thomas More earned the No. 1 seed in the Division II bracket after a near-perfect regular season in which it won its first 39 games and now stands 40-1.
Coach Jessica Burke said while she and her team aren’t happy with the loss they suffered to St. Amant during a tournament at Episcopal of Acadiana on Friday, she does think it takes a good amount of pressure off the Cougars.
“The pressure was building with every win,” she said. “That chasing perfection thing, it’s not fun. It almost kind of takes away from the success of the season if we hyper-focus on the wrong thing like our record which, in the end, doesn’t mean anything.”
The Cougars, who have won four of the past five Division II state titles, will face their fair share of challenges in the tournament. They have never played any of the teams in their bracket on the way to the semifinals.
They will meet No. 16 Central Lafourche or No. 17 Karr on Monday.
“That’s going to be all unfamiliar territory,” Burke said. “I’m going to try to find out what I can on each team before we play them, but we have to be prepared to play our best against those teams we haven’t seen before.”
For the third year in a row, Teurlings Catholic (28-8) enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the Division III bracket.
The Rebels will attempt to earn their third straight state championship in the division with a team that Terry Hebert said is one of the most athletically gifted teams he has coached.
“This is by far the most physically talented team that I’ve had in several years,” Hebert said. “They just don’t know if they can do it or not. ... I need to figure out how I can develop that confidence in them to finish and know that they’re talented enough.”
Teurlings also will play its first game Monday against the winner of Leesville and Brusly.
Ascension Episcopal (26-10) earned a bye with the No. 3 seed in the Division V bracket as the 2014 state runner-up tries to take it all the way.
But to do so, the Blue Gators (or someone else) will have to find a way to prevent No. 2 Metairie Park Country Day from reaching the finals for the first time since 2008; they are on the same side of the bracket and could meet in the semifinals.
Not all Acadiana-area teams will bypass first-round play. No. 14 Cecilia and No. 19 Northside will go at it in a District 4-III showdown that will serve as a rubber match.
Other games involving area teams include No. 10 Comeaux hosting Chalmette, No. 12 St. Martinville hosting Iowa, No. 16 Acadiana taking on Ponchatoula and No. 20 Carencro travelling to No. 13 Sam Houston.