Ben Franklin made it a clean sweep for New Orleans teams in major Baton Rouge volleyball tournaments when they topped Parkview Baptist 2-0 in the final to win the Rumble in the Jungle at Woodlawn on Saturday.
Earlier in the month McGehee defeated Ben Franklin for the title of the South Louisiana Classic, and Cabrini took the championship of the Red Hot Sticker Classic by defeating host St. Joseph’s Academy.
In Saturday’s action the Falcons fought off a match point in the semifinals to slip past Mandeville 17-15, then came from behind in both sets against a strong Parkview team to win by scores of 25-23 and 25-20.
“I’m proud of the fight and determination and character of all the kids,” Franklin coach Jodee Pullizano said. “Thursday, we played Chapelle, and they handed it to us. Sometimes you can tell about your team by the way they rebound after a loss.
“We should have won (the Mandeville match) in two sets. We had match point, and we gave it away. Usually when that happens you don’t win.
“Everybody says ‘Oh, you’ve got No. 6’ (tournament MVP Allison Olsonoski), but we’ve got a lot more than just one player. I’m proud of all my team, I really am.”
Parkview came from behind in the semifinals to take a 2-1 win over Newman. The Eagles were down 13-11 before reeling off four points, finishing off the set on kills by Christy Dearie and Wesley Ann Foreman.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my girls,” Parkview coach Becky Madden said. “We’ve been working on a lot of lineups. Things hadn’t been flowing the way we wanted, and this weekend we kind of figured out what we need to do. They fought harder than I’ve seen them do in two or three years.”
Parkview jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first set of the final before Franklin tied it at 12. Parkview recaptured the lead at 22-21, but the Falcons finished on a 4-1 run, with Olsonoski scoring all four points on a block and three kills.
Franklin went ahead 11-10 in the second set and never surrendered the lead. Olsonoski again ended the set with a kill and a nice placement shot,
“Parkview is an amazing opponent,” Olsonoski said. “I don’t think I was ever confident I could say ‘This is in the bag,’ but I was confident in my teammates that we could pull something out, and I’m glad we could pull out a win.”
Olsonoski collected nine kills in the two sets. Foreman led the Eagles with five kills, while Cameron Forbes had four.
Thirty-two teams entered pool play in eight pools Friday, with the first- and second-place teams in each pool advancing to the championship bracket. Pool winners were Ben Franklin, Parkview, Live Oak, Mandeville, Brusly, Fontainebleau, East Ascension and Baton Rouge High.
Named to the all-tournament team along with Foreman and Olsonoski were Stacia Newton of Westminster Christian, Emily Venable of East Ascension, Caitlyn Williams of Brusly, O’neisha Batiste of Plaquemine and Sameera Mohamed of Baton Rouge High.
Rounding out the team were Emily Widdell of Ponchatoula, Sam Gomez of Mandeville, Emily Pelley of Chalmette, Alexis Zulli of Fontainebleau, Amari Williams of Northside, Lauren Kinchen of Zachary, Cameron Jones of Newman and Mia Chiota of Northlake Christian.