St. John, White Castle advance to Division V volleyball playoffs

St. John volleyball coach Chase Mancuso addresses the Lady Eagles against White Castle earlier in the season. St. John enters the LHSAA Division V playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

District 3-V champion St. John of Plaquemine and White Castle advanced to the volleyball postseason when Division V brackets were released by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association on Monday afternoon.

The Lady Eagles (37-5) won the district title outright with a perfect 10-0 mark and will enter the postseason as the No. 4 seed with a first-round bye after setting a school-record in wins. St. John will host the winner of No. 13 First Baptist Christian and No. 20 Westminster Christian tentatively scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. at SJHS' gym.

It marks the fourth straight year the Lady Eagles have advanced to the postseason. St. John was eliminated in the LHSAA State Volleyball Tournament by Episcopal of Acadiana in the quarterfinals last season.

"We were shooting for a top four seed at the beginning of the year because I thought that would put us in the best position to make a run," St. John coach Chase Mancuso said. "I know it is going to be a tough road but when you get to this point everybody is good. You just have to worry about how you play and not concern yourself with who you are playing.

"I think we are in a position now where we won't just be happy getting (to the state tournament.) We want to win some games.

You don't want to turn down a first-round win but it is tough staying ready to play. I don't want us to fall asleep so getting better will be our focus this week."

The Lady Bulldogs (15-10) finished 4-6 in district play and enter the postseason as the No. 16 seed in Division V. White Castle will host No. 17 seed Patrick Taylor on Thursday at 4 p.m. and the winner will advance to top-seeded Episcopal.

It marks the fifth straight year the Lady Bulldogs have advanced to the postseason. White Castle was eliminated in the first round last year by Northside Christian.

"Making the playoffs is one of our goals every season along with having a home date for the first game," White Castle coach Tammy Pierce said. "We are pretty excited because we actually thought we were going to be traveling."

"We had a pretty good year but we let some district games get away from us that I felt we could have won. At least we are not playing a top five seed right off the bat so we should be pretty evenly matched. We are just taking it one round at a time."

St. John wrapped up district play with a sweep of False River Academy Oct. 24. Jesse Brown had 13 kills in the win, Victoria Weaver added nine kills and nine aces and Kamryn Theriot provided 10 digs.

The Lady Eagles wrapped up the regular season with victories over Woodlawn 28-26, 22-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12 and Brusly 23-25, 25-16, 29-27, 25-13 on Saturday.

Brown had 25 kills and nine digs against Woodlawn, Weaver added 11 kills and Theriot had 22 digs. Brown also had 18 kills and 12 digs against Brusly, while Weaver had 14 kills and Emily Delahaye had six blocks.

White Castle defeated False River 25-13, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20 Oct. 18 and Pointe Coupee Central 25-13, 25-16, 25-18 on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.

Plaquemine was swept by Ascension Catholic and East Iberville fell in four sets to Hosanna Christian in their season finales.