St. John 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 next year to clear another hurdle.
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 Division V semifinals of the LHSAA state volleyball tournament at Kenner’s Pontchartain Center. With the win, Country Day (39-6) advances to take on Ascension Episcopal in the at 9 a.m. Saturday.
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.
“Anytime you match up against a team the likes of Country Day you know you are in for a tough game,” Eagles 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 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.
ASCENSION EPISCOPAL 3, ACADEMY OF SACRED HEART-GC 2: The Blue Gators completed an impressive comeback from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Sacred Heart-Grand Coteau, 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.