Mount Carmel’s Marissa Lagasse just had a weekend that she won’t forget for a long time, but she wasn’t quite ready for it to be over yet.
The senior committed to play volleyball next year at Louisiana-Monroe after visiting the school over the weekend knowing she had Country Day — the No. 4 team in the New Orleans Advocate’s Sweet 16 small schools poll — waiting for her when she got back home on Monday.
But Country Day was no match for the Warhawks’ newest commit and the rest of the Cubs (16-4) as they cruised to a 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 win over the Cajuns in a nondistrict match at home Monday.
“It was a really big deal for me. I’ve been looking around, and I really wanted to go there,” Lagasse said. “ I feel like we’ve been progressing as a team, and we’re excited to keep moving along.”
Senior Kristen Nuss was a force for Mount Carmel, leading the team in both kills (19) and digs (21), while Ellie Holzman made an impact on defense with a team-high 10 blocks.
“We’re coming together as a team at the right time,” Nuss said. “We’re working our way towards November for the state championship, and we just want to get on the right path.”
Country Day was led by Alex Smith’s 14 kills, and Maddie Leger led the team with 22 digs. Jenna Ibieta, a Tulane commitment, finished with a game-high 31 assists.
The Cubs — the No. 1 large school in the Sweet 16 rankings — jumped on Country Day in the first set and built a 22-15 lead. Country Day fought its way back into the set and got as close as 23-20, but Nuss finished the set with a kill to give MCA the 25-21 victory.
Country Day (13-6) made a similar push late in the second set after falling behind 23-19, but Mount Carmel took a 2-0 lead in the match when Paige Escarra got the final kill to give the Cubs the 25-23 win.
“Country Day is a great team, and they are very well-coached,” Mount Carmel coach April Hagadone said. “They have a strong setter and it took us some time to get used to her so we can start getting some blocks ... but I’m glad we got this win. We needed it.”
Country Day coach Julie Ibieta took her team back into the visitor’s locker room leading up to the third set to try and bring out some of the toughness that has led her team to winning the last six Division V state titles, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Cubs.
After struggling to pull away early in the set, Mount Carmel sprinted out to a 20-14 lead and finished things off with a 25-22 victory to clinch the sweep.