The Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA Volleyball State Championship Tournament begins Thursday with quarterfinal playoffs at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. Teams from throughout the state, including several from St. Tammany Parish, will compete in one of five divisions.


NORTHSHORE MOVES ON: The No. 4 seeded Panthers defeated No. 20 Mandeville in four games, 25-20, 25-20 22-25, 25-18, on Nov. 4 in a Division I bi-district playoff. 

Senior Carly Merry led Northshore with 18 kills and fellow senior Annelise Vollenweider had 10. Kristin Fogan was the defensive leader for the Panthers with 12 kills and Amanda Giardina had a game-high 43 assists.

“It was great for the seniors in our last home match to defend our house,” Merry said. “It was an exciting way to wrap up your home career and now we go to the Pontchartrain Center and see what happens.”

Northshore will take on No. 5 Dominican on Thursday. The Panthers swept past Dominican in its season opener back on Aug. 31 in three games.

This will Northshore's third consecutive trip to the Pontchartrain Center. The school’s best finish was a state semifinal berth in 2012.

“I think we are capable of anything (in the Pontchartrain Center),” Giardina said. “For us, it is all about staying mentally focused. If we can do that, then we can do some special things.”

Mandeville advanced to the bi-district round after a three-game sweep of H.L. Bourgeois on Nov. 1.

FONTAINEBLEAU FALLS IN HEARTBREAKER: No. 9 Baton Rouge defeated the No. 8 Bulldogs in a five-set thriller at the Kennel in Mandeville last week.

Baton Rouge won, 16-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 15-10, in front of a packed house at Fontainebleau. 

Senior Lauren Larzelere had 25 digs and Grace Haile added 13 digs to pace the Fontainebleau defensive effort. Madison Arteaga had 11 digs and 17 assists.

Juniors Stephanie Schurr and Samantha Pittari combined for 16 kills and freshman Emily Mathews had six kills and 12 assists.

Fontainebleau ended its season 25-13. Baton Rouge advanced and will play top-ranked Mt. Carmel in the quarterfinals.

DOMINICAN ENDS SLIDELL'S SEASON: No. 12 Slidell (19-15) fell to No. 5 seed Dominican last week in three games, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22.

“Our girls played very hard and very well, but our serve receive game hurt us,” Tiger coach Michelle Anderson said.

“We had a good year and we will be back.”

Slidell reached the bi-district round with a 3-0 win over the Lafayette Lady Lions (25-15, 25-13, 25-15) on Nov. 1. A lethal service game proved to be the difference against the Lions with Cabree Bourg and McKenzie Fugate combining for 10 aces. Imana Ellis also came up big with nine kills and four blocks against Lafayette.


SSA HEADS TO KENNER: After a first-round bye, the second-seeded St. Scholastica Doves easily defeated Live Oak on Nov. 4 in three games, 25-5, 25-12 and 25-9.

Freshman Madison Meyers led the way for the Doves with 11 kills and three digs. Junior Evey Waguespack had 23 assists, five digs and three aces.

SSA will take on No. 6 South Lafourche on Thursday.

LAKESHORE FALLS SHORT OF STATE TOURNEY: The Titans fell one match short of a return trip to the state tournament when they were swept in three games by second-seeded Cabrini on Nov. 4, 25-15, 25-22, 25-12.

Sarah Tucker had 10 kills to lead Lakeshore. Claire Ecuyer added four kills.

The Titans advanced to the bi-district round after defeating No. 18 Woodlawn-Baton Rouge 25-19, 25-15, 25-13 on Nov. 1.

Against Woodlawn, the Titans broke open a 15-15 tie by going on a 10-4 run to end the game. 

Riding that momentum, Lakeshore erupted for a quick 11-3 start in the second game on their way to an easy 25-15 victory. The Titans were just as dominant in the final game.

Tucker and Abby Hebert led the way for the Titans. Tucker finished with a game-high 12 kills, Hebert had six kills and 23 assists. Ecuyer had six kills and Emily Wilcox led the way for Lakeshore with 10 digs.

SALMEN’S SEASON ENDS IN FIRST ROUND: The No. 21 seed Spartans (13-18) weren’t so fortunate in their bid to advance in the state playoffs. They finished their season with a loss to No. 12 seed Academy of Our Lady 25-12, 25-10, 25-11 on Nov. 1.


POPE JOHN PAUL II EASILY ADVANCES: Three-time defending state champion and No. 1 seed Pope John Paul II (34-5) opened its drive for a fourth, consecutive Division IV state title with an easy 3-0 win over No. 17 seed Haynes Academy 25-5, 25-6, 25-10 on Nov. 2.

“We needed to keep our intensity level up,” Jaguars coach Danny Tullis said. “The girls worked hard, served well, played in system and did a lot of pretty good things today.”

Leading the Lady Jags were Rachel Hartmann with nine kills and four blocks, while Ansley Tullis contributed nine kills. Kendall Battistella had 38 assists and three aces in the win.

The Jaguars advanced to take on No. 9 Sacred Heart.

HANNAN HAS NO PROBLEM WITH COMETS: For the fourth consecutive season, Archbishop Hannan will be at the Pontchartrain Center participating in the state volleyball tournament.

After back-to-back berths in the Division IV championship match, this time they are determined to come home with the school’s first state championship.

Fourth-seeded Hannan easily defeated No. 13 St. Charles Catholic in three games 25-2, 25-5 and 25-11 on Nov. 2.

The Hawks advanced to take on No. 5 Newman.

NORTHLAKE CHRISTIAN MAKES FIRST TRIP TO STATE TOURNEY SINCE 2011: It took a pair of wins, but the Wolverines made it a perfect 3-for-3 for parish squads in Division IV to make the state tournament.

The 10th-seeded Wolverines defeated No. 7 Episcopal-Baton Rouge in four games, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 in a regional playoff last week.

Northlake got to the second round after an easy three-game sweep of No. 21 Pine, 25-9, 25-11, 25-8 on Oct. 31.

“Our goal was to come in here and act like it was our gym,” Northlake Christian coach Shannon Puder said after the win over Episcopal. “I could just feel that vibe all day. My team is at its best when it's positive and having fun. I’m so excited for them. This win was epic.”

Carolyn Simpson finished with a career-best 46 assists and Mia Chiota, who averages 14 kills, had a career-high 27 kills and 15 digs in the victory.

In the bi-district win against Pine, Chiota led the way with 15 kills, 20 digs and five aces. Sara Joy Graham had a game-high 52 assists and Kyren Whittington had 12 digs, nine kills and three blocks.

Northlake will face No. 2 Notre Dame in a quarterfinal on Thursday.

Dave Woodall and Chris Chapple contributed to this report

Follow David Folse II on Twitter, @davidfolse.