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.

The Sacred Heart Cardinals, a No. 10 seed, were the lowest-seeded Division IV team to reach the state quarterfinals, played their best match of the season Thursday afternoon against McGehee.

Sacred Heart upset district rival and second seed McGehee, 25-19, 25-23, 25-18, in the LHSAA Division IV Championships at the Pontchartain Center in Kenner.

The Cardinals lost twice to McGehee in district play this season. But on Thursday, the tables were turned. Sacred Heart (21-20) took a commanding two-set lead to open the match. They began the third set with a 7-0 run and went up 18-7 before finishing off the Hawks.

The Cardinals were led by Ellie Sylvia with 15 kills and 10 digs. Emily 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, JOHN CURTIS 1: The Greenies, the defending Division IV state champ, took an early lead over the third-seeded Patriots and pulled away for a 25-15, 28-26, 19-25, 25-19 victory.

Newman, a six seed in the playoffs, 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.

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.

UNIVERSITY LAB 3, HANNAN 1: The Cubs advanced to the Division IV semifinals with a convincing win over the Hawks.

The Cubs, seeded fourth in their bracket, looked strong against fifth-seeded Hannan. The final score was 26-24, 25-13, 22-25, 25-12.

University (32-11) now will tangle with Pope John Paul II in the semis. 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,” said University coach Bonita Johnson. “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 University inclued Destiny Ephrom with eight kills and 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.