St. John's Lady Eagles capture district title to advance to state semifinals

TOMMY COMEAUX tcomeaux@postsouth.com

After a rare undefeated run in district play, the St. John Lady Eagles volleyball team swept the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Grand Coteau 3-0 and now stands just three wins away from a state championship.

“They rocked it,” first year coach Caitlin Hester said. “They took care of business. I think we swept everybody except for one team in district – we had to play four games against Ascension Catholic (High School).”

The win last Thursday qualified the girls to advance to the semifinals in Kenner Thursday where they will face False River Academy of New Roads.

If they win Thursday, they will go up against a team to be determined on Friday in the quarterfinals and if the Lady Eagles can get a win then, they will go to the state championship game on Saturday.

The possibility of winning a state championship has the coach and her players excited.

“We have a week to prepare,” Hester said last Thursday. “We pretty much know what we’re going into. We’ve seen a lot of these teams in previous years.”

“We’ve made it to state but we’ve got a hump we have to get over,” she continued. “We know we’re going to meet a couple of teams with the same goal in mind as we do.”

“Overall, we have had such a dominant season that I am more than proud to be a part of,” said Robbi Seneca. “I’m so blessed to say I have been part of the St. John volleyball program and can’t wait for everyone to see how much we want a championship under our names in this year’s run in the playoffs.”

“This season has been the most successful season yet,” said Grace Robichaux. “All of the seniors, including myself, have been great leaders.”

Hannah Hargrove also talked about the importance of the influence and leadership of the seniors on the team and everyone involved said the Lady Eagles have been preparing for the state playoffs – and the possibility of a championship – since the season began.

Our group of seniors has been playing together since middle school and are extremely excited and ready to return to state,” she said. “We set goals as a team and achieved them as a team. We understand what it takes to win and that’s why we will be in the championship.”

To a player – and the team’s coach – everyone involved also talked about the goal-setting the St. John team did this season.

“From the first day I stepped in here, we made a list of goals,” Hester said. “When we met those goals, we set new goals.”

“That’s been our motto – we reach goals and we set new ones,” she continued.

We set goals at the beginning of the season and we've meet a lot of them,” Robichaux said. “Everyone on the court had determination to get better and to strive for greatness.”

“Our road to state has been tough but the experience has definitely changed our team,” she continued. “We've had some bad losses but we've had some great wins.”

“At the beginning of the season, we set team goals and worked very hard to accomplish them every day,” said Sarah Caballero. “Throughout the season, accomplishing those goals was tough but we grew together as a team to achieve each one.”

“Making it to state was at the top of the list and I am proud to say we will make history in the Ponchartrain Center this year,” she continued.

“Our season has been full of heart, sweat and dedication,” Seneca said. “We have had high highs and low lows but we have conquered anything that crossed our paths with everything we had in us.”

“You’ll see the six people on our side of the court give 110 percent every play and game,” she continued.

The Lady Eagles believe they are ready, willing and able to bring home a state championship trophy this year.

“We have worked towards our goals all season and it’s finally paying off,” said Carolyne Glaser. “We are determined to come out on top and will not let anything hinder us.”

“Our road to state was not easy but it was definitely worth it and is something i will cherish forever,” she continued. “I am so proud of my team and all of our accomplishments and am ready to tackle anything that comes our way.”

“We truly deserve to go to state because of the amount of effort we have put into the sport,” Robichaux said. “Everyone on our team has a huge desire for a championship win and with our determination and effort, we will get that win.”