Notre Dame, Iota advance to State Volleyball Tourney

CROWLEY – Port Allen’s Lady Pelicans were hoping Monday to give Notre Dame’s Lady Pios something they hadn’t seen in a second- round playoff game in quite a while - a challenge.

And they did.....for the first few points of the opening set, that is.

From there, it was all Notre Dame as the top-seeded Lady Pios cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Lady Pelicans.

The victory sends the Lady Pios (32-10) into the Division IV quarterfinals where they will take on No. 9 McGehee at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner .

“We knew that if we had any offense at all, we would have them on their heels,” said ND coach Tara Young. “Our game plan worked once we settled down a little bit. We kind of started out a little bit rough, though.”

The Lady Pios shrugged off the shaky start and claimed the opening set 25-13.

They were never really threatened after that, cruising to a 25-9 victory in the second game and closing out the match with a 25-12 victory.

“Port Allen did some good things,” said Young. “They were unconventional, but they did some good things; so we had to work and we were trying to implement some of the things we had been working on all year. 

“That was the whole issue. I don’t care who is on the other side of the net, we have to do what we do. That was kind of the way we approached it.”

Offensively, the Lady Pios were led by junior Lindsey Meyer and freshman Grace Morgan. The two combined for 25 kills on the night. Meyer had 14 kills and two digs while Morgan recorded 11 kills, five digs and one block.

Megan Malmay was also a key contributor with seven kills, one assist, six digs, two aces and one block. Katherine Kirsch added three kills and seven digs.

Setting the tone for the offense was Sam Lyons and Alex Miller. Lyons racked up 18 assists to go along with two kills, eight digs, one ace and one block. Miller had 12 assists as well as three kills and eight digs.

Also contributing in the victory were Sarah Ledet (1 kill, 1 dig), Alli Daigle (4 digs), Gabbie Romero (2 digs) and Annie Sarver (2 digs).

For Notre Dame, it will be their 14th straight state tournament appearance under Young, who has led to Lady Pios to back-to-back state titles (Division III title in 2010, Division IV title in 2011).

“You know, I hope we’re a little bit nervous going in, because otherwise, we’re overconfident and that’s not good,” said Young. “So I want us to be a little antsy and a little anxious because that just means we’re ready to go. 

“We’ll probably have to work out a few bugs as we get rolling in that matchup Thursday, but we’ll be ready.”

Should Notre Dame win Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup, the Lady Pios would move on the semifinals on Friday against either No. 4 University or No. 5 John Curtis.

IOTA ADVANCES 

IOTA – The Iota Lady Bulldogs defeated Academy of Sacred Heart of New Orleans Monday, 3-2, earning a trip to the state volleyball tournament in Kenner for the first time in four years.

“Overall, we came out and played very hard and aggressive,” said Iota assistant coach Luke Richard. “This is a big stepping stone for Iota volleyball.”

The Lady Dogs will now take on No. 3 Newman in a quarterfinal matchup Thursday at 11:45 a.m.

The winner of that game will take on either No. 2 De La Salle or No. 7 Riverside on Friday in a semifinal matchup at 3:15 p.m.

In Monday’s game, Madison Meche paced the Lady Dogs with 20 kills and 15 digs. Kaylee Richard followed with seven kills and 12 digs.

Taylor DeVille added five kills and six blocks, Madison Benoit had five kills and three blocks and Erika Manuel had five kills and two blocks.

Mallory Faul set up the offense with 35 assists while also recording four blocks.

Also contributing were Jillian Boone (48 digs, 2 aces), Claire LeJeune (19 digs), Paige Soirez (18 digs, 1 ace), Melinda Russell (17 digs) and Sydney Hebert (8 digs, 1 ace).

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