The Dutchtown Griffins (24-4) and the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs (18-10) advanced to the state volleyball tourney after sweeping both sets 3-0 over their respective opponents.
The Griffins are the fifth seed and will face fourth-ranked Mandeville on Thursday at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner.
“It’s very exciting returning to the state tournament for the third year in a row," said Dutchtown coach Patrick Ricks. "We hope that gets us mentioned as one of the consistent and successful programs in the state."
Ascension Catholic is the fourth seed and returns to the state tournament for the second year in a row. The team will face fifth-seeded Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee.
“It’s a great honor to make it to the state tournament and I never want my teams to take it for granted," said coach Janelle Leonard. "The best teams from each division make it. My hopes were to be seeded a little higher but that didn’t happen. We have to work a little harder to make it further than last year's quarterfinal loss.”
The top players for the Griffins are three-year starters senior India Bennett, who has 225 kills, 157 blocks and 153 digs this season; junior Alexis Logarbo, who has 214 kills, 71 blocks and 222 digs; and junior Taylor Heeb, who has 112 kills, 431 assists, 45 aces and 209 digs.
The Bulldogs are led by senior middle hitters Amelie Husers and Mackenzie Marroy. Husers has 385 kills, 42 aces, 53 blocks and 247 digs. Marroy has 356 kills, 82 aces, 51 blocks and 281 digs. Senior setter Miranda Landry has over 1,000 assists in her career, including 50 in a win over Assumption earlier this season. Senior Madison Tripode is a Libero and defensive specialist and leads the Bulldogs in digs with 356.
Dutchtown plays a strong opponent in Mandeville, who plays good defense and has a strong offensive game. The Griffins must be vigilant and quick as well as set on contact, according to the Griffin coaches.
Ascension Catholic faces a familiar opponent in CHSPC, a team they lost to in 5 sets 2 weeks ago. The Bulldogs must play their best and work really hard in preparation. They are not expecting an easy match, according to Leonard. With their sights set on a state championship, both teams know it's win or go home. “Our girls have worked extremely hard and done everything that the coaches have asked them to do; they are exceptional on and off the court,” Ricks said.
“We are excited to be back, but the girls know they have to practice and prepare like a championship team. This has been a fun team to be around; this team wants to advance and they are up for the challenge,” Leonard said.