Sacred Heart-N.O. upsets McGehee _lowres

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Pope John Paul II's Marlena Cutura hits the ball over the net against Episcopal.

University High advanced to the Division IV semifinals on Thursday morning in the LHSAA Volleyball State Championships at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

The Cubs, seeded fourth, looked strong in a quarterfinal victory over fifth-seeded Hannan. The final score was 26-24, 25-13, 22-25, 25-12.

University (32-11) will tangle with top-seeded Pope John Paul II in the semifinals. That match is scheduled for 11:50 a.m. Friday.

“We had to rally after being up two games to none, and then losing the third,” University coach Bonita Johnson said. “We had to refocus and stop making errors. We had to keep the ball in play after making a few mistakes in that third game.”

Leaders for U-High included Destiny Ephrom with eight kills and five blocks and Lindsey Flory with 10 kills, three aces, 12 assists, and 13 digs. Hailey Cabeceiras led Hannan (32-12) with 24 kills; and Tatum Ballard added 29 assists and two aces.

In other Divison IV tournament quarterfinal action on Thursday:

POPE JOHN PAUL II 3, EPISCOPAL-BR 0: The top-seeded Jaguars cruised to a 25-12, 25-10, 25-10 victory over eighth-seeded Episcopal.

Allison Hartmann led PJP II (38-5) with 13 kills, three aces and two blocks. Marlena Cutura added six kills and eight digs in the victory. Episcopal (24-12) was paced by Charlotte Russell, who had eight assists and six digs.

SACRED HEART 3, McGehee 0: The 10th-seeded Cardinals, the lowest-ranked team remaining in Division IV, advanced with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 upset over the Hawks.

Sacred Heart lost twice to McGehee in district play this season. But on Thursday, the Cardinals rose to the occasion to knock off the second seed.

“We knew what we had to do after facing them twice already,” Sacred Heart senior Emily Frischhertz said. “We only had one goal, and that was to win.”

The Cardinals were led by Ellie Sylvia with 15 kills and 10 digs. Fritschhertz added nine kills, four blocks, and three aces. The Hawks were paced by Julia Felix with 13 kills, 12 assists, and an ace.

Sacred Heart advanced to play Newman in the semifinals at 1:40 p.m. Friday. McGehee ended 38-5.

NEWMAN 3, CURTIS 1: The Greenies, the defending Division IV state champion, took an early lead over the third-seeded Patriots and pulled away for a 25-15, 28-26, 19-25, 25-19 victory.

Newman, the sixth seed this year, improved to 28-13. Curtis ended its season 34-7.

Katherine Bolyard led the Greenies with 19 kills. Jamie Hawkins added 16 kills and Julia Wellons and Julia Nelson combined for 45 assists.

Tatiana Bell led Curtis with seven kills, 17 digs, and an ace.