A state championship season is a tough act to follow. Unless you’re Division III Teurlings Catholic and Metairie Park Country Day and the sport is volleyball.
Teurlings (36-9) won its second straight Division III title, Country Day (40-6) won its sixth consecutive Division V crown as the Allstate Sugar BowlLouisiana High School Athletic Association State Volleyball tournament concluded on Saturday at the Pontchartrain Center.
Top-seeded TCHS won its 2014 title in impressive fashion, ousting No. 2 Ursuline Academy 3-0.
Country Day lost its first set in the playoffs, but ultimately beat No. 2 Ascension Episcopal 3-1 in the Division V final that opened the action. Pope John Paul II, also a No. 1 seed won the Division IV title, beating No. 6 Newman 3-0.
“We kept saying the last three days we were nervous because we weren’t nervous,” Teurlings coach Terry Hebert said. “One of our assistant coaches kept saying ‘What was the word?’ Was it confidence? No. We were just comfortable.
“What (we did last year), playing all the way through Saturday, it instilled a level of confidence. We kept saying we were at home. There definitely was a little less pressure on this group.”
Title-contest MVP Madison Proctor led the Rebels with 13 kills, and Alyssa Breaux and Marze added seven apiece. Chloe Hamilton and Breaux teamed for 32 assists and Maloz added 11 digs. The Rebels won 26-24, 25-19, 25-22.
Brianna McKay led Ursuline with 15 kills and Katherine Meiklejohn had eight kills. Lauren Bagneris led the Lions with 16 assists, and Macie Grubbs dug 30 balls. Rhonda Wilson added 12 digs for Ursuline.
POPE JOHN PAUL II 3, NEWMAN 0: Pope John Paul (41-5) made its first state title contest in volleyball memorable with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 victory.
Title-match MVP Allison Hartmann led the way for the Jaguars, a quarterfinalist in 2013, with 12 kills and four blocks. Hartmann got past a nervous first set to come up big for the top-seeded Jaguars at key times.
Milayne Danna added 26 assists, while Marlena Cutura contributed 13 digs for the winners, who swept their three tourney foes in straight sets. Katherine Bolyard led sixth-seeded Newman (29-14) with 7 kills and 11 digs, while Jamie Hawkins added 5 kills.
“We’re so proud of this team, they’ve worked so hard,” Pope John Paul II coach Rachel Battistello said. “We’ve preached the whole time just work hard and we’ve preached serve and serve-receive and they know that’s the way to win games. This whole tournament they worked well together. We told them if you stay in system, like I’ve said before, we’re impossible to beat.”
Newman was last year’s champion and winner of 16 state titles to lead all Louisiana schools.
METAIRIE PARK COUNTRY DAY 3, ASCENSION EPISCOPAL 1: Country Day (40-6) won its sixth straight Division V title, the third longest string of volleyball titles in LHSAA history.
The Cajuns won by scores of 25-8, 21-25, 27-25 and 25-9. Jenna Ibieta, daughter of Country Day coach Julie Ibieta, was selected as the MVP after dishing out 42 assists.
Simone Becnel and Caroline Perlis each had 13 kills, while Summers White had 12 kills and Maddie Leger contributed 32 digs.
Ascension Episcopal (27-11) made its first finals appearance and did something no other team had done during the playoffs. The Blue Gators won a set over the Cajuns.
Addie and Sydney Vidrine, who combined for 24 kills and a pair of aces, led Ascension Episcopal. Mary Catherine Franques had 32 digs and Carolina Cordova had 16 assists.
“Coming into this season expectations were not state championship level high,” Blue Gators coach Jill Braun said. “I didn’t think before the season that we would be sitting here having just played a state championship game.
“These girls deserve all the credit in the world because they show what a team can do when they come together and bond.”