LAFAYETTE — Winning the school’s first volleyball state championship last year has left no shortage of pressure on coach Terry Hebert and the Teurlings Catholic Rebels.
With the Teurlings volleyball jamboree set to begin Wednesday, Hebert said he thinks his team has a legitimate chance to make another state championship run this season.
“My seniors this year will be great leaders,” Hebert said. “There is going to have to be some patience with our young players. I went from having a team of juniors and seniors that ran themselves to a team that is really young. They’re feeling the pressure of coming off a state championship and feeling like they have even bigger shoes to fill.”
Hebert said he knows repeating as state champions will be an uphill climb, especially after losing three seniors from last year’s squad. No loss to his team was bigger than state MVP Hillary Washington.
“Hillary was a big key to our front and back line,” Hebert said. “I am basically trying to replace two players there. I try to keep it in perspective and let (the team) know this is not the same team. Our juniors and seniors were clicking early (last season) because they had been playing together for a few years.”
Hebert and several area teams will head into the jamboree trying to work out the kinks in their lineups as they play other teams for the first time. The Teurlings jamboree consists of eight teams playing over two days. Each team will play one set against three other teams, and Hebert said having the jamboree experience is a key component to a successful season.
“We have been playing in intrasquad games for what seems like forever,” Hebert said. “The regular season starts next week so we are looking to fine tune our lineup and expose our weaknesses. We have some quality opponents in this jamboree that will help us expose those weaknesses quickly.”
Aside from Teurlings, the jamboree will feature St. Thomas More, Division II state champion last season; Notre Dame and Episcopal School of Acadiana, state runners-up last season and Ascension Episocpal School, a power who was a state semifinalist last season. Hebert said he feels like this is one of the better jamborees in the state.
“We are fortunate enough to have those teams in our jamboree,” Hebert said.
“The teams in this area allow us to put on a very competitive jamboree.”
Hebert said the jamboree will hopefully allow him to set the right lineup to make a run at the school’s second state championship in 2014.
“The kids we have are talented, and athletically we are good,” he said.
“We’ll get an idea (in the jamboree) of who is taking care of business and how we can get off to the races.”