BRUSLY — On the court, the screams and screeches made for a deafening pitch.
But in the stands, a crowd of more than 200 spectators filled the Brusly High gymnasium with applause as 16 Baton Rouge area high school volleyball teams competed in the Westside Jamboree on Tuesday.
The teams played 20-minute sets, and three teams finished the night unbeaten. Two of those teams featured head coaches who are in their first season at the school.
Pool A action began with West Feliciana powering past Port Allen 25-15. The Saints never trailed.
In Game 2, West Feliciana fought an uphill battle with White Castle, eventually edging the Bulldogs 19-17. In their final game, the Saints defeated St. John 22-18
WFHS coach Celeste Thornhill said she was pleased with her team’s performance despite a slow start.
“We’re looking pretty good,” Thornhill said. “We’ve got a couple of changes in our district this year.
“We’re hoping to get a good placement in playoffs for sure. Top of our district or close to it that’s kind of our goal, so we’ll see how that goes, but that’s what we’re looking for.”
In Pool B, Southern Lab slid past Livonia 22-21. The Kittens went on to beat Family Christian 25-11 and dismantle Donaldsonville 25-8 to finish as the lone undefeated team in the pool.
The night went as planned for SLHS coach Alissa Hale.
“It was just as expected,” Hale said. “We didn’t schedule any scrimmages, so it was our first time playing against someone other than ourselves. We sort of just wanted to work the kinks out, look at some different lineups.”
But the reoccurring theme of the jamboree was the debut of head coaches. Port Allen’s Robyn Butler, St. John’s Cynthia Prouty, Plaquemine’s Angelle Matherne, Livonia’s Karen Wooley and Brusly’s Kayla Sarradet were the first-year coaches.
Sarradet was an assistant to Wooley, the long-time Brusly coach, last season.
Matherne was among the unbeatens as the Green Devils took Pool C. Matherne said the sweep was unexpected.
“I thought we did really well,” Matherne said. “We’re heads and tails better than we were last week, and I think we have a lot of room to grow.”
Plaquemine beat Scotlandville 25-16, St. John JV 25-9 and Christian Life 25-16.
Host Brusly capped the evening by sweeping Pool C with wins over Runnels (25-17), False River (25-16) and Catholic of Pointe Coupee (25-15). Sarradet said the jamboree was a success.
“It definitely went well,” Sarradet said. “This is our seventh year in a row having it. The same teams come every year. It’s nice to see friendly faces, and it was a good turnout.”