It’s the final month of the 2014 high school volleyball season.
Coaches and players alike are counting down the final district games, gearing up for the playoffs and (some are) looking ahead to the annual state tournament to be played at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
And some will get a chance to get a sneak peak at that venue, as well as work on their game, as Cabrini hosts this weekend’s big volleyball tournament at the Pontchartrain Center.
Sixteen varsity teams and eight junior varsity teams will compete Friday and Saturday in pool play. And the competition will be fierce.
The Advocate’s No. 1-ranked teams Mount Carmel and McGehee, as well as Dominican, St. Scholastica, Country Day, John Curtis, Northshore, Sacred Heart, Slidell, Mandeville, Fontainebleau and host Cabrini will represent the metro area.
Defending state champion St. Joseph’s Academy of Baton Rouge, Dunham School, St. Amant and Notre Dame will also compete. Tournament play will begin 4 p.m. Friday and resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. The championship match is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
Cabrini coach Greg Costillo said the tournament is a chance for everyone to get ready for the state tournament, which will be held Nov. 13-15.
“Coaches like it because their players can get adjusted to the Pontchartrain Center,” Costillo said. “It won’t be new to them. Plus, this is the time to fine-tune your game, make sure everybody has their technique down.”
“I can’t believe more teams don’t come out for this tournament,” McGehee coach Val Whitfield said. “All teams aspire to be in the Pontchartrain Center at the end of the year. This kind of gives you a taste of the atmosphere there. I don’t understand why more teams don’t want to do that.”
Mount Carmel coach April Hagadone said she is looking forward to seeing how much progress her team has made since its last tournament at St. Joseph’s. The Redstickers have become the Cubs’ nemesis. Since beating Mount Carmel for last year’s state title, St. Joseph’s has beaten Mount Carmel twice this season. The Cubs earned one victory against the Redstickers at last month’s Ursuline Tournament. The two likely will meet up again this weekend.
“It’s possible,” Hagadone said. “It’s a good tournament, a tough tournament with a lot of good competition. I’m excited to see how far we’ve come. The state tournament is only a month away.”