Archbishop Hannan seniors Allee Morris and Mikayla Boyer simply weren’t going to let their team lose.
Not again to Pope John Paul II, a program that ended their season the past two years at the state tournament.
Combining for 38 kills, Morris and Boyer helped the top-seeded Hawks end the run of the four-time defending state champion Jaguars 25-12, 25-8 and 25-10 in the Division IV volleyball state semifinals at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
Hannan (39-6) advances to the second state championship match in school history against No. 3 University High at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
“We have been training for this moment for four years,” Morris said. “It just feels so good to finally be at that point where it is our time to finally show that we are the best team in the state and we have worked so hard for this moment.
“It just feels so good to finally be playing for a state championship again. We can’t act like someone is going to hand us the state championship trophy on Saturday. We have to continue that focus and intensity that we brought to this game. We will be ready.”
Senior Grace Lagalante had a game-high 40 assists to go along with seven digs. Mia Migliore also had seven digs for the Hawks.
Pope John Paul II was led by Ansley Tullis, who had seven kills and four digs. Kendall Battistella added 14 assists and three digs.
Dominating the entirety of the match, Morris opened the first game by registering five of the first six kills of the match on its way to an impressive victory over its cross-parish rival.
UNIVERSITY LAB 3, NOTRE DAME 0: Almost a year to the day (364 days to be exact) after Notre Dame ended the 2017 U-High season. This time the No. 3 Cubs turned the tables, sweeping No. 2 Notre Dame of Crowley 25-20, 25-22 and 25-21 in the Division IV state semifinals Friday morning.
“The difference from last year to this year was the intensity from everyone on the roster,” U-High coach Bonita Johnson said. “They brought it with everything they could today and they believed they could win.
“Saturday has the chance to be a very special day. These kids have worked extremely hard and this program has been through a whole lot these last couple of years. I know they are going to come out hard tomorrow and give it everything that they have.”
Sophomore Elise Doomes led the Cubs with 14 kills and 18 digs. Colleen Temple had four blocks and a pair of aces and junior Maggie Segar had 20 assists.
Anna Morgan led the way for Notre Dame (33-15) with 14 kills and 15 digs.