With all the talk about the top half of the bracket in the Division IV state volleyball playoffs, University High made its case for recognition in a big way Thursday afternoon at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
Third-seeded University High easily dispatched of No. 6 Riverside Academy in the quarterfinals (25-18, 25-23, 25-20) to advance to take on second-seeded Notre Dame at 10 a.m. Friday in the semifinals on Court 3.
Elise Doomes led the Cubs with 10 kills, and Cathryn Coulter had 17 assists. Bailey Grimes also had seven blocks for the Cubs (36-6).
“The goal was to come out and try and jump on them early,” Cubs coach Bonita Johnson said. “Play your first game like it is your last game. The entire team has been so full of energy, and we are just excited to be able to move on.”
Riverside Academy (30-12) was led by Sydney Joseph, who had 11 kills and Abby Bourgeois, who had 18 assists.
“We are here to compete for a state championship,” Johnson said. “We are led by four great seniors who have stepped it up big time. They want it and are hungry to go out there and get it.”
POPE JOHN PAUL II, HANNAN ADVANCE: After meeting the past two seasons for the Division IV state crown, the Hawks and Jaguars will tangle at 11:30 a.m. Friday, but this time in the semifinals on Court 1.
It took five games, but fourth-seeded Hannan (25-8) defeated No. 5 Newman (25-22, 25-17, 22-25, 17-25, 15-9) in the quarterfinals to advance to Friday’s showdown.
Middle blocker Allee Morris led the the Hawks with a game-high 26 kills to go along seven blocks. Caroline Standley notched 10 kills, and Grace Lagalante contributed 43 assists and 17 digs.
Aaliyah Burras had 22 kills to lead Newman, which finished 30-10. Olivia Brown added a game-high 54 assists, and Adele Reynoir had 30 digs.
Meanwhile, Hannan's rival, the top-seeded Jaguars (36-5) dispatched of Academy of the Sacred Heart (14-13) in four games (25-15, 25-16, 17-25, 25-11).
Rachel Hartmann and sophomore Ansley Tullis led the Jaguars with 14 kills each. Kendall Battistella had 47 assists to go with 16 digs and Tyler Sanderson added 14 digs.
NOTRE DAME 3, NORTHLAKE CHRISTIAN 1: Second-seeded Notre Dame fought off challenge from 10th-seeded Northlake Christian to advance to the semifinals in a 25-6, 17-25, 25-21, 25-20 win.
Anna Morgan, Melise Gossen and Mary Leonards each had 10 kills for Notre Dame (33-10), and Sydnei Simon led defense with 27 digs.
Kyren Whittington led Northlake Christian (16-12) with 28 digs and seven blocks. Mia Chiota had 10 kills, and Sophie Cramond added eight.