St. John Head Coach Chase Mancuso finally got his squad over the hump, capturing the elusive state quarterfinal victory on Thursday.
Now, they are going to have to wait until last year to take the next step.
The Eagles fell in three games to five-time defending state champion Metairie Park Country Day, 25-14,
25-15 and 25-12 in the LHSAA Division V State Semifinals at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
With the win, Country Day (39-6) advances to take on Ascension Episcopal in the Division V State Championship game Saturday morning at 9:00.
St. John (32-10) was led by Carolyn Glaser’s eight kills. Junior Payton Passantino also had six kills. Claire Pearce added 16 assists and Alex Carbo had 11 digs.
“Any time you match up against a team the likes of Country Day you know you are in for a tough game,” Eagles Head Coach Chase Mancuso said. “I thought we competed early, but defensively we made some mistakes.
“This is our first year advancing this far. This was our fourth straight time getting to the state tournament, but we had never been able to get over the hump of winning a game here. Now we have accomplished that. It is something you can definitely build on as a program. We competed until the very end of the match and I’m proud of my team for doing that.”
The Cajuns were led by the trio of Caroline Perlis, Simone Becnel and Samantha Henderson, all of whom finished the game with eight kills. Perlis also had 3.5 blocks and five aces. Jenna Ibieta led Country Day with 13 assists and Maddie Leger had 15 digs.
“Compared to Thursday I thought we looked much better out their today,” Country Day Head Coach Julie Ibieta said. “We looked much more comfortable and played at a faster speed. I thought the biggest key was our service game. We served great today. Overall, you could see how focused our team was today. They never lost that.”
“This never gets old,” Henderson said. “Everyone had to come into this game with a good mindset and do what they know they can do. Coach Ibieta said it was a key to start off strong and fortunately we were able to do that. We knew if we kept moving fast and stayed at a fast pace that we would have the chance to be successful.”
ASCENSION EPSICOPAL 3, ACADEMY OF SACRED HEART, GC 2: The Blue Gators completed an impressive comeback from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Sacred Heart GC, 17-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-10 and 15-11.
Ascension Episcopal (27-10) advances to the school’s first-ever state championship game to take on top-ranked Country Day.
“I knew we had it in us,” Addie Vidrine said. “We came here with all the energy we could and just fought until the very end. It is just an awesome feeling. Even falling behind 2-0 like we did I knew this team had the talent and the mindset to come all the way back.”
Sisters Addie and Sydney Vidrine led the Blue Gators, combining for 30 kills, two blocks, and 15 aces.
Kathleen Boulet led the Saints (28-12) with 29 kills and Jennifer Link had 11 kills. Maci Quebedeaux had 46 assists and Link added a pair of aces.