Rob Smith let his St. Michael volleyball team watch the team's 2007 championship match earlier this season.
It was the last time the Warriors had played in a title game.
Now they are going back after beating rival Parkview Baptist 3-1 in the Division III semifinals on Friday at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
St. Michael (31-4), the No. 2 seed, will go for its first volleyball state championship at 2 p.m. Saturday when it plays top-seed Vandebilt Catholic (39-5).
"I'm more happy for my coach because he hasn't felt that in 10 years," St. Michael junior Amber Igiede said. "I'm also happy for our three seniors and I just want the best for them."
It was the third meeting of the season between St. Michael and Parkview, with both teams winning in four sets on their respective home courts.
This will be the second title-game matchup for Smith and Vandebilt coach Greg Castillo, who coached Cabrini to a title-game win over St. Michael in 2007.
But the Warriors won the one that mattered most, ending the Eagles' season in the Pontchartrain Center for a second straight season. Last year, St. Michael beat Parkview in the quarterfinals.
St. Michael dropped the first set 21-25, but won the next three 25-10, 25-23, 25-18.
"Even before the match started, we knew it would likely go four or five sets because we are so familiar with each other," Smith said. "I didn't think either team was so dominant that either would win in three because we match up so well.
"Somebody had to win the first set, so that didn't change the mentality of what we had to do. We responded real well in the second set."
Igiede led the Warriors with 25 kills and five blocks.
"It feels great," Igiede said. "We went in confident, but not overconfident because when we are too confident it doesn't go the way we planned. We played well in the Dunham Tournament the other week and played like we had never played before and we just played like that again today and it was amazing."
Paige Cassano had 21 assists and a pair of aces. Alexis Gonzales finished with 40 digs and Sadie Edmonston finished with 20 assists and 14 digs.
Leanne Sorrel led Parkview with 24 assists. Annemarie Peavy had 14 digs and Hannah Fontenot had 13, but it wasn't enough despite the fast start in the first set.
"I think my players started thinking about the outcome and not focusing on what they needed to do to get to the outcome we wanted," Parkview coach Becky Madden said. "They tightened up and played a little tentative and scared. St. Michael is a good team with goad coaching. It's a good thing that two district teams were playing to get to the championship. I wish it had been us, but if it's not us I'm glad it's someone in our district. We had a great season."
St. Michael, meanwhile, is a step closer to the first title in school history. To get there, Smith will coach against Vandebilt's Greg Castillo, who was coaching that Cabrini team that beat St. Michael a decade ago. That loss was St. Michael's second time reaching the title game and coming up short.
"Twice the bride's maid but never the bride," Smith said. "That's what we are striving for."
VANDEBILT CATHOLIC 3, URSULINE 2: The top-seed Terriers won the first two sets and then fought off a rally by the No. 4 Lions to advance to the finals.
Vandebilt Catholic, like St. Michael, is seeking its first title in school history.
Emily Gauthreaux led Vandebilt with 37 kills, while Andrea Buquet had 59 assists. Ursuline finished 32-11.