Several Baton Rouge area teams will compete in the regional round of the volleyball playoffs on Monday. The winner of each match heads to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Volleyball State Tournament on Thursday at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner.
Defending Division I state champion St. Joseph’s (41-2) hosts No. 17 seed Zachary at 5 p.m. In last week’s bidistrict round, Zachary (18-14) took down No. 16 seed Terrebonne in four sets.
St. Joseph’s swept Zachary in Division I, District 2 where the Broncos fell 25-15, 25-4 and 25-8 in the first meeting and 25-9, 25-17, and 25-22 in the second meeting.
Other local Division I regional matchups include No. 4 St. Amant (29-11) hosting No. 20 Slidell (19-15) while No. 11 Dutchtown (26-16) travels to No. 6 Comeaux (26-9), both at 5:30 p.m.
In Division II, seventh-seeded St. Michael the Archangel (24-13) hosts No. 10 Sam Houston (23-16) at 6 p.m. Sam Houston played No. 23 Carencro last week and swept, 25-11, 25-9, 25-17.
Earlier in the season, St. Michael and Sam Houston met at the Broadmoor Southland Invitational, where Sam Houston won in two sets.
“Expect a close, back-and-forth, hard-fought game,” St. Michael coach Rob Smith said. “Both teams have gotten better since that weekend. We like our chances. We have a tough opponent, but we get to play on our home court.”
Division II’s No. 8 Central (22-11) hosts No. 9 Cabrini (19-18) at 5 p.m.
In Division III, No. 4 Parkview (29-9) hosts No. 13 St. Louis (15-12) at 5:30 p.m. Parkview coach Becky Madden said the Eagles have been practicing serving and serve receive, offensive threats and cross-court defense throughout the bye week in preparation for Monday’s game.
“It’s been a great week in practice,” Madden said. “(St. Louis) is a team that’s always made it to the state playoffs, and we are not taking them lightly. They have strong middles, their blocking is on point, outside hitters do a great job of cross-court hitting.”
For the 12th consecutive season, Division IV fourth-seed University (30-11) is in the playoffs. But, for the first time in coach Bonita Johnson’s 12 years, the Cubs will compete against No. 13 St. Charles (13-17).
Johnson said the key to competing against teams you know nothing about is getting scouting reports and making sure your players don’t play down to their opponent.
“There are unknown factors, but we want to make sure our opponent can’t stop us,” Johnson said. “We want to play our game because we’re pretty good when we play our game.”
Also in Division IV, No. 8 Episcopal (23-11) hosts No. 9 Riverside Academy (25-12) while Sacred Heart-Grand Coteau hosts No. 19 Southern Lab. Southern Lab defeated No. 14 Crescent City in four sets in last week’s bidistrict round.
With a four seed, St. John (30-9) is the highest-seeded Baton Rouge area team in the Division V playoffs and will host No. 13 St. Martin’s Episcopal (12-19) for the second year.
After playing four games during the last weekend of the regular season, competing against teams like Brusly and Episcopal, St. John will host after a bye week.
“It’s a good matchup for us,” St. John coach Chase Mancuso said. “These girls just want to play another day. They are determined and focused.”
Other notable matchups in Division V include No. 6 Dunham (17-20) hosting No. 11 Northside Christian and No. 9 Catholic-PC (17-20) traveling to No. 8 Episcopal of Acadiana (13-13).