SJHS Lady Eagles prepare for season under new leadership
St. John School named head softball coach Cindy Prouty to take the reins as the new head volleyball coach along with new assistant coach Matt Anastasio.
Anastasio is a former 2005 graduate of St. John High School and has been an assistant volleyball coach at University Lab for the last three seasons under head coach Bonita Johnson.
“I’ve been coaching in the area for about 10 years now and I am excited to be back and see that the program has been developed into a post season volleyball force,” Anastasio said. Prouty and Anastasio took over the team after former head coach Chase Mancuso decided to step down in December 2014.
The Lady Eagles reached the semi-finals in the playoffs last season, the furthest ever in school history. Their season came to an end to Metairie Park County Day, eventual Division V champion.
The Lady Eagles only have two seniors entering the 2015 season, Payton Passantino and Madison Schnebelen, two former junior standouts. Prouty and Anastasio want this year’s team to be tougher, loud and more energetic. “That’s what great volleyball is about,” Anastasio said. “The girls are excited to make this year about the team dynamic and continuing this program into a well-represented culture for St. John athletics and the city.”
Anastasio and Prouty also want to focus not on winning at all costs, but more about player development. According to the new coaching staff, the Lady Eagles have constantly been working hard in the gym.
The young squad faces a tougher schedule, but it may better prepare them for post season play. According to Prouty and Anastasio, senior Passantino and Schnebelen are stepping up into positive leadership roles. Though Passantino suffered a few minor injuries throughout summer play she has recovered well and can play well in many positions.
Schnebelen has been dominating at the net and is a force to be reckoned with at the service line. Other players that have stepped up include sophomore Sarah Caballero, who was originally a JV setter. Carolyne Glaser, a sophomore, also returns to the court as a varsity starter after a successful season dominating the net as a freshman.
The St. John Lady Eagles had a chance to stretch their legs against formidable opponents last week when they took on both Plaquemine and Brusly. Passantino led the way for Lady Eagles against Plaquemine with five kills and four digs. Robbie Seneca totaled 14 assists, two kills and one ace. Grace Acosta racked up four kills and one ace while Grace Robichaux got four kills and a dig.
Passantino continued her dominance against Brusly and totaled six kills. Acosta totaled four kills, senior Madison Schnebelen racked up five kills, Seneca totaled eight assists and Sarah Caballero totaled 13 digs.
“I look forward to see where we end up,” Anastasio said. “Great things are going to happen this year and the girls know they will go as far as they want to. Nothing is going to be given to them.”
The Lady Eagles will look for another chance at representing Iberville Parish's best throughout the regular season and into the playoffs.