RAYNE — The Rayne Wolves are making their third trip to the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner for the LHSAA state volleyball tournament, and coach Stephanie Garrett said she hopes that experiences benefits her squad.
“This is out third time, so hopefully we are used to it by now,” Garrett said. “They’ll be used to the atmosphere, the three courts and everything happening at one time. Everyone on this team played last year in the Pontchartrain Center. It’ll be familiar for them.”
No. 5 seeded Rayne takes on last year’s Division III runner-up Ursuline Academy, in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
The senior leadership — mainly Charlesha Dugas, Layni Boudreaux, Katie Benoit and Tarya Kanonu — has taken the Wolves to a 34-6 record, something Garrett said she expected.
“I expected it, and I also expected not to have those six losses,” she said. “But that is water over the bridge now. We are a little older and wiser and a little more experienced this year. Our offense has been playing well and the six teams we lost to have all been ranked top 5 in their division. We did really well.”
Garrett said coaching such an experienced group has been a lot less stressful than in previous seasons.
“I haven’t really had to get upset,” Garrett said. “It’s been nice. They play through a lot, and when we call timeouts, we just have to calm them down sometimes. They get overanxious and overplay sometimes, and that is something that we just have to get under control at times.
“This team has been great to coach.”
Garrett said she didn’t want to predict anything, but said she knows her team has and the caliber of its opposition. She said those team have prepared them to compete for a state championship. She said if the team plays with confidence, they’ll have a chance.
“I think we have the potential to go all he way, but I am not on the floor,” Garrett said. “They are on the floor, and they are starting to believe in themselves and believe they have a chance to do it. That’s all I can ask for.”