The best time of the year for high school volleyball fans in Louisiana has arrived with the LHSAA releasing its five playoff brackets Monday afternoon.
The New Orleans area is routinely rich in volleyball talent, and this season is no different with three teams snagging No. 1 seeds in five-time defending champ Mt. Carmel in Division I, last year’s runner-up Cabrini in Division III and three-time defending champ Country Day in Division V.
The last of the aforementioned teams will be the first to start their postseason run with the Cajuns (43-2) hosting No. 32 Ridgewood Wednesday at 4 p.m.
“We’re excited to be the No. 1 seed for sure and I’m really happy with the way we’re playing right now,” said Country Day coach Julie Ibieta, whose team won a stacked “Spooktacular” tournament this weekend in Lafayette. “We’re looking forward to the playoffs and keeping ourselves going in a positive direction.”
Country Day closed the season winning six straight games at “Spooktacular” and their last loss came on October 30 at the hands of the Crescents, which served as a signature win for an experienced group.
“I think the win against Country Day was a little bit of a breakthrough for us mentally and physically,” Cabrini coach Casey Laird explained. “That was the first time all season I saw that relentless mentality of ‘we’re going to win this,’ and that was the biggest preparation for the Pontchartrain Center that we could have asked for.
“We like the road that we’re on and we know we have to take care of business facing some good teams leading up to the championship,” Laird added. “We’re excited to be the No. 1 seed and it gives us a little bit of an advantage with the road we’ll take but we know we’re going to play some good teams.”
Cabrini (30-4) will begin its postseason run Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. against Northside while Mt. Carmel (31-9) will be in action Thursday at 5 p.m. against Walker. The Cubs wrapped up the season winning 11 of their last 12 with their only defeat coming to Country Day on October 19.
“I like the fight in us that I saw against Dominican in our last game,” said Mt. Carmel coach April Hagadone, whose team picked up a gutsy, five-set revenge win over Dominican in their final game of the season on October 30. “We ended on a real high note and I’m just hoping that we grow and get stronger from here on out.”
Other NOLA area teams with a top four seed include No. 2 Mandeville (36-4) and No. 3 Dominican (31-11) in Division I, No. 2 Ben Franklin (37-6) in Division II and No. 4 Ursuline (24-11) in Division III.
Six-time defending champ Teurlings Catholic (39-6) and last year semifinalist Lafayette Christian (32-4) are the top seeds in Division II and IV, respectively.
Here’s a look at the schedule for teams from the Greater New Orleans area and Bayou regions, and you can check out the full brackets by clicking on each respective Division:
(1) Mt. Carmel vs. (32) Walker, Thursday, 5 p.m.
(2) Mandeville vs. (31) Thibodaux, TBD
(3) Dominican vs. (30) Zachary, TBD
(5) Fontainebleau vs. (28) Baton Rouge, TBD
(7) East Ascension vs. Destrehan, TBD
(11) Terrebonne vs. (22) Acadiana, TBD
(10) H.L. Bourgeois vs. (23) Hahnville, TBD
(14) Chapelle vs. (19) Ponchatoula, TBD
(16) Airline vs. Chalmette, Wednesday, 5 p.m.
(2) Ben Franklin vs. (31) Caddo Magnet, Wednesday, 4 p.m.
(6) Lee Magnet vs. (27) Riverdale, Thursday, 5 p.m.
(7) Academy of Our Lady vs. (26) Ellender, 4:30 p.m.
(8) Belle Chasse vs. (25) Helen Cox, TBD
(9) Lakeshore vs. (24) Northwood-Shreveport, TBD
(13) Carencro vs. (20) St. Scholastica, TBD
(14) Warren Easton vs. (19) Karr, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
(15) Salmen vs. (18) Beau Chene, Thursday, 6 p.m.
(16) South Lafourche vs. (17) Landry-Walker, TBD
(1) Cabrini vs. (32) Northside, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
(2) E.D. White vs. (31) Sci Academy, TBD
(4) Ursuline Academy vs. (29) West Feliciana, TBD
(6) Lutcher vs. (27) St. Martinville, TBD
(7) Hannan vs. (26) Church Point, TBD
(9) St. Louis vs. (24) Frederick Douglass, TBD
(11) Haynes vs. (22) Kenner Discovery, TBD
(12) Booker T. Washington vs. (21) Livonia, TBD
(15) Lusher vs. (18) DeQuincy, TBD
(16) Rayne vs. (17) Pearl River, TBD
(3) Pope John Paul II vs. (30) Baker, TBD
(5) University Lab vs. (28) Patrick Taylor, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
(6) Ascension Episcopal vs. (27) Einstein Charter, TBD
(8) Sacred Heart vs. (25) Springfield, Tuesday, 6 p.m.
(9) John Curtis vs. (24) Loyola Prep, TBD
(11) Newman vs. St. Thomas Aquinas, TBD
(13) St. Katharine Drexel vs. (20) De La Salle, TBD
(14) Fisher vs. (19) Patterson, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
(15) St. Charles vs. (18) Northeast, TBD
(16) Thomas Jefferson vs. (17) Episcopal, TBD
(1) Country Day vs. (32) Ridgewood, Wednesday, 4 p.m.
(4) Episcopal of Acadiana vs. (29) West St. John, TBD
(5) McGehee vs. (28) Runnels, TBD
(7) Northlake Christian vs. (26) Family Christian, TBD
(10) St. Martin’s Episcopal vs. (23) East Iberville, TBD
(11) Highland Baptist vs. (22) Crescent City, TBD
(12) Catholic-P.C. vs. (21) St. Mary’s Academy, TBD
(16) Brighton vs. (17) Riverside, 6 p.m.