It was a good first day for the greater New Orleans area in the Division I state volleyball semifinals as top-seeded Mount Carmel and Northshore advanced Thursday night in the 2017 LHSAA volleyball state tournament at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
Semifinal Friday will feature the Cubs against Northshore at 3:30 p.m. on Court 1 and St. Amant against second-seeded St. Joseph at 3:30 p.m. on Court 3.
The Panthers survived a five-game marathon against fifth-seeded Dominican (25-18, 25-21, 21-25, 22-25, 15-9) to advance to their first state semifinals since 2012.
“Give Dominican credit,” Northshore senior Carly Merry said. “They played really well. But I do think we kind of let up for a while after we won the first two games. But my teammates and I did what we had to do in the all-important fifth game. That’s win or go home, and we didn’t want to go home yet.
“It doesn’t matter the type of win you get in the postseason; you just want to win. Fortunately enough for us tonight, we were able to accomplish that.”
Merry led the Panthers (24-10) with 24 kills. Senior Amanda Giardina, who signed with Tulane on Wednesday, had 23 digs, 47 assists and a pair of aces for the Panthers.
Dominican (28-17) was led by Hannah McGowan’s 26 kills and 18 assists.
In the last game of the night, the three-time defending state champion Cubs easily defeated ninth-seeded Baton Rouge, 25-9, 25-13 and 25-13.
ST. AMANT 3, ARCHBISHOP CHAPELLE 1: The only team remaining in the Division I bracket to have played three state-tournament matches, 14th-seeded St. Amant pulled its second consecutive upset, this time upending 11th-seeded Archbishop Chapelle in four games (12-25, 25-17, 25-19 and 25-17).
The Gators (23-18) were led by Baylee Rambin, who finished with 13 kills, and an impressive 42-assist performance from Gracie Duplechein. Defensively, Taylor Baxter and Megan Arceneaux each had 18 kills.
Archbishop Chapelle (24-19) was led by Hannah Volpi’s 12 kills and 16 assists. Meagen Scuderi added 29 digs for the Chipmunks.
ST. JOSEPH’S 3, ACADIANA 1: The last team not named Mount Carmel to win the state championship in the state’s highest classification; the St. Joseph Academy Redstickers advanced to the Division I state semifinals Thursday night with a four-game victory against seventh-seeded Acadiana (25-22, 25-11, 23-25 and 25-12).
With the victory, St. Joseph's (29-13) advances to take on St. Amant. The Wreckin’ Rams finished 24-10.