Five parish teams make volleyball playoff field

Kyle Riviere
Ascension Catholic earned the No. 11 seeding in the Division-V volleyball playoffs. Photo by Chuck Montero.

It has become almost routine for five parish teams to make the volleyball playoffs each year. It has happened again in 2017.

The LHSAA volleyball playoff brackets were released on Sunday evening, and East Ascension, Dutchtown and St. Amant were all included in the Division-I field, and in Division V, both Ascension Catholic and Ascension Christian made the cut.

East Ascension is the highest-seeded team in the parish.

The Lady Spartans had a spectacular season under head coach Jamie Gilmore. Led by top players like Diamond Jones, Meagan Ross, Brylee Brown and Tamia Washington, they finished the regular season with a 31-11 record.

This tremendous mark included a stretch of 21 wins in 22 matches. With their strong play, the Lady Spartans were able to win a share of the District 4 championship.

For the playoffs, East Ascension earned the No. 3 seeding in Division I. This awarded them a first-round bye.

In the second round, they’ll host either archrival St. Amant or Destrehan.

The next-highest parish seed in the playoffs is Dutchtown.

The Lady Griffins battled some injuries throughout the season, but they were able to stand tall and earn key wins when they had to get them.

Dutchtown went 23-15 during the regular season, but their biggest victory came in their district finale when they beat East Ascension in straight sets. This allowed them to win a share of the league title.

Behind top players like Lauren Launey, Zoe Wooten, Jaela Drumgole and Kathleen Vasterling, the Lady Griffins head into the postseason winners of eight of their final nine matches.

This strong play earned them the No. 6 seed and a first-round bye.

In the second round, they’ll host either Archbishop Chapelle or Airline.

St. Amant is used to enjoying first-round byes, but the Lady Gators experienced a turbulent year in 2017.

They lost many of their top starters from last season’s state quarterfinal team, and to complicate matters, they were bitten by the injury bug during the year.

As a result, St. Amant had a losing record at certain points this season, and their district unbeaten streak—which had spanned more than five years—finally came to an end.

Still, players like Baylee Rambin, freshman Gracie Duplechein, Megan Arceneaux and Taylor Baxter were able to right the ship late in the year.

St. Amant finished 20-18 overall and earned two huge victories over East Ascension and Dutchtown during the home stretch that earned them a share of the district title.

They’re the No. 14 seed in Division I. For the first round, they’ll host No. 19 Destrehan. The Lady Wildcats finished the regular season with a record of 17-13.

If the Lady Gators win, they’ll have to play archrival East Ascension in the second round.

In Division V, the highest parish seed went to Ascension Catholic.

Under new head coach Alaina Poirrier, the Lady Bulldogs played well throughout the year as they finished with an overall record of 14-19.

Many of their losses came at the start of the season during a brutal slate of pre-district games—many of which came against upper-classification powers like University, Parkview Baptist, Assumption and East Ascension.

Top players like Hannah Settoon, Bailey Acosta and Lauren Landry helped the Lady Bulldogs finish third in the district and secure a home playoff game for the first round.

In round one, they’ll host No. 22 Highland Baptist—who went just 6-24 during the regular season.

If the Lady Bulldogs win, they’ll visit No. 6 St. Martin’s Episcopal in the second round.

Ascension Christian earned the No. 15 seed in Division V.

With the return of head coach Lisa Pellegrin, the Lady Lions went 15-15 during the regular season and won a share of their district championship, along with Dunham.

Ascension Christian was led by top players like Rhesa Jones, Jamilyn Robinson, Kylie Jones and Alaina Moreland.

For their first-round matchup, they’ll face No. 18 Westminster Christian—who finished 10-12 during the season.

If the Lady Lions win, they’ll visit No. 2 Louise McGehee in the second round.