Teurlings Catholic wins eighth straight volleyball state championship
Coach 'so proud' of how team handled unusual season
In a year of so much uncertainty, one thing remained the same: Teurlings Catholic reigned supreme at the end of the high school volleyball season.
The Rebels won their eighth straight state championship and fourth straight in Division II on Saturday, defeating crosstown rival St. Thomas More 3-1 on Saturday in Kenner.
"It's always an emotional game," coach Terry Hebert said. "All bets are off when we play each other."
It was a tight game from the start. Neither team led by more than six at any point. The Cougars took the first set and held steady midway through the second. Hebert called a timeout to settle down his team.
The Rebels needed to control their emotions, he told them, and needed to stop making errors.
"We knew they were going to come out strong and all their guns would be firing at us," he said.
The Rebels went on a run after that, taking control of the game and never looking back. They won the second and third sets 25-19 and the fourth set 25-20 to take the championship.
Cicily Hidalgo finished with 16 kills, four blocks and 32 digs. Paige Guidry had 22 kills, while Molly Webre had 44 digs for the Rebels.
"It was hard but it was still fun because at the end of the day we came out with the win," said Hidalgo, the championship MVP. "We've never pushed ourselves that hard. Knowing that we can do that just makes you feel better."
After a summer of uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, volleyball became the first high school sport to finish its season.
When the team wasn't able to practice together in the preseason, the seniors corralled them in. They focused on staying positive and having fun to keep the mood upbeat. That way they would be ready as soon as they got the green light to play.
"Not knowing if we were going to have a season was hard," Hidalgo said. "Especially for the underclassmen because they look up to us and feed off how we act and what we say."
Things looked different from a normal state championship: only 750 total fans were allowed into the Pontchartrain Center. Balls were wiped down after they were used. Coaches and players on the sidelines donned masks. But the feeling of winning an eighth straight championships never gets old, Hebert said, even during an unusual season.
"I was so proud of them and how they handled this whole situation," he said. "Very proud of them. Never once did they complain about starting late. Never once did they complain about not having fans. The kids just wanted to get on the court and play."