Louise McGehee went into the championship round of the seventh annual South Louisiana Volleyball Invitational Tournament as the fifth seed, but the Hawks knocked off Ben Franklin (fourth seed), Barbe (first seed), and defending champion University High (second seed) to claim the tournament title.

The championship rounds followed two days of pool play at three sites in Baton Rouge.

McGehee defeated Barbe 25-22 and 29-27 and U-High got past Lakeshore 25-18 and 25-11 in the semifinals to set up the championship match between the two longtime rivals.

The final match went three sets, with McGehee taking the first 25-19, U-High coming back to win the second 25-21, and McGehee claiming the third set 17-15.

“That (knocking off higher seeds) shows that this team has heart,” McGehee coach Val Whitfield-Dunn said. “We still have work to do, but it was two quality teams going at it, playing outstanding defense-they were just great all around.”

Taylor Ducros was named tournament MVP and Julia Felix was also named to the all-tournament team, but Whitfield-Dunn spread the credit around for her team’s play.

“I can’t really single out any one player,” she said. “We practice and play as a team. My freshman Maddy Tillery played well, and so did my eighth-grader Jaida Felix.”

The Hawks had little trouble with the Cubs in the first set, jumping out to an 8-4 lead, stretching it to 16-8 and cruising to a 25-19 win.

McGehee’s Julia Felix had eight kills and Tylar Beckham seven for the Hawks. Maddy Tiller had 15 assists, and Ducros had 13 digs.

Lindsay Flory led U-High with 15 kills and nine assists. Destiny Ephrom added nine kills, and Terri Drake had 12 assists and 15 digs.

The tournament, co-hosted by Woodlawn and Broadmoor High schools, attracted 35 teams.

Broadmoor coach Everett Odom was impressed with the quality of play for an early season tournament.

“Pool play was very exciting and competitive, as several teams went undefeated and some were thrown into three-way ties for first place. The undefeated teams and pool champs were University, Barbe, Ben Franklin, Sam Houston and McGehee. Fighting off three-way ties and earning a spot into the single elimination bracket were Dutchtown and Lakeshore,” he said.

South Louisiana Volleyball Invitational Tournament

Quarterfinals

Lakeshore def Sam Houston 25-19, 25-14

University def Dutchtown 25-15, 25-22

McGehee def Ben Franklin 25-16, 25-23

Semifinals

University def Lakeshore 25-18, 25-11

McGehee def Barbe 25-22, 29-27

Championship Game

McGehee def University 25-19, 21-25,17-15

MVP

Taylor Ducros, McGehee

ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM

Courtney Lemons, Covington

Amari Bellard, St. Michael

Haylee Eldridge, Riverside

Roynisha James, Terrebonne

Alexis Reeves, Belle Chasse

Keri Fontenette, St. Martinville

Jordan Stephens, Central

Keri Yarbrough, St. John of Plaquemine

Madison Fontenot, Sam Houston

Allison Olsonoski, Ben Franklin

Kristen Thompson, Dutchtown

Ebony Lewis, Barbe

Erin Schenck, Lakeshore

Julia Felix, McGehee

Lindsay Flory, University