The Ursuline Academy volleyball team wore the t-shirts "November Ready" to the Pontchartrain Center on Thursday.
Those two words have been the team's motto all season.
And for the Lions, they have been ready for this November ever since last November when they lost in the Division III championship game.
No. 4 Ursuline had little trouble Thursday in its return to the Pontchartrain Center, topping No. 12 Westlake 3-0 in Thursday's quarterfinals.
A win Friday and the Lions (32-10) will play in the title game for a second straight season. But they aren't looking back at last season's loss as special motivation.
"We put everything about last year in the past," senior Macie Grubbs said. "We aren't looking at the past, just the future. So now we are looking to Friday and we'll see where it goes from there."
Ursuline advances to Friday's 11:50 a.m. semifinal to play Vandebilt Catholic, which swept E.D. White on Thursday.
Grubbs finished with 19 digs and Olivia Weinstein had 27 assists in Thursday's win. Ursuline won 25-20, 25-19, 25-16, despite junior Erin Goebel injuring her ankle in the first set.
"We had to make an adjustment, but we have faced adversity all year," said Ursuline coach Jay Jay Juan, in his ninth season at the school.
Freshman Annabel Beatmann stepped in and filled the void, finishing with 10 digs and a pair of aces. Jessica Addvensky had 11 kills and three blocks and Nadia Farley finished with nine kills and nine blocks.
Ursuline is looking for its first state title since 2012, when it repeated to cap a three championships in four years run.
"I've been at this Pontcartrain Center five years straight and I have been wanting it every year and we have fallen short," Grubbs said. "But this year we are going to play as a team and play hard. Our coach preaches team, team, team and if you make a mistake, just focus on the next play."
Kayla Kennedy had 15 digs and Kenedee Morris had 12 assists for the Rams, who finished 25-13.
ST. MICHAEL 3, DE LA SALLE 0: The No. 10 Cavaliers, making their first trip to the quarterfinals since 2014, saw their return trip come to the Pontchartrain Center come to a quick end with a 25-21, 25-21, 25-17 loss to the No. 2 Warriors.
Ali Cerise had 21 assists and nine digs to lead the Cavaliers, who finished the season 22-20.
"The pressure was on and we weren't ready for it," said Melissa Grubbs, in her second year as coach. "I think we beat ourselves. I am not going to take anything away from St. Michael. They are a nice team and play ball control but I think we beat ourselves."
Tyler Caliste finished with seven kills and two blocks and Tyza Brister had eight digs.
Caliste is one of four seniors (two starters) the Cavaliers will lose, along with Taylor Bates, Mia Jones and Karlie Winn.
The Cavaliers made it to the quarterfinals despite starting the season 0-7. They rebounded and went on to win a district championship.
"In the second half of our season we started becoming a team," Grubbs said. "We started being a consistent team and playing as one team. These girls have worked hard and have put a lot of time in and have grown into a nice team. I couldn't be more proud of this team."
St. Michael (30-4) advances to the semifinals to play No. 3 Parkview Baptist.
PARKVIEW BAPTIST 3, BRUSLY 0: Senior Leanne Sorrel had 30 assists to lead the No. 3 Eagles to a 25-16, 15-15, 25-17 win over the No. 11 Panthers in an all-Baton Rouge area quarterfinal match.
Parkview will play St. Michael in Friday's semifinals. It will be the third match of the season between the two schools. They split the first two matches, with each team winning on their home court.
VANDEBILT CATHOLIC 3, E.D. WHITE 0: Emily Gauthreaux had 20 kills and 28 digs to lead the top seed Terriers past the No. 8 Cardinals 25-14, 25-13, 25-19. Andrea Buquet had 40 assists for Vandebilt (38-5). Lila Bordis led the Cardinals (19-21) with 17 kills and 19 digs.