News Post

Volleyball Team Advances to Semifinals

The St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team advanced to the semifinal round of the 2022 Ochsner/LHSAA Division I state tournament. The No. 6 Redstickers, with an 18-17 record heading into the semifinals, fell to No. 2 Mount Carmel Academy (37-2) in four sets in a match played November 11 in the Cajundome.

MCA won the first set 25-9 before SJA rallied to take the second set 25-19. MCA won the third set 25-20. Squaring off in the fourth set, SJA led by as many as 10 points until MCA scored 14 of the last 17 points to win the set 25-22.

“I’m so proud of the determination and grit this team displayed, especially at the end of the season,” said coach Sivi Miller. “I knew when the season started that we had talent on the team and the willingness to work hard, but we didn’t know how much we would have to endure throughout the season. We had ups and downs throughout the season for many different reasons. What makes this team so special is no matter what we were faced with, they believed in each other. They supported one another and kept pushing each other through challenges. That’s what makes a difference on any team and in life.”

Senior Ellie Foco had 18 kills and seven blocks. “This season was full of ups and downs, but in the end, we played together and for each other,” she said. “We exceeded many people’s expectations about how far we could go because we believed in each other fully and worked especially hard to ensure we were putting our best on the court. To make it to the semifinals when facing all kinds of challenges this season is a great accomplishment that we are so proud of.” 

Sophomore Molly Perry said that while the season was marked by a rollercoaster of emotions, but the team stayed strong. “We knew what we wanted, and we knew what we needed to do to get there,” she said. “We came into practice every day ready to ‘drop everything at the door’ and just focus on our end goal. When we went to the playoffs, we took everything one game at a time. There was also a lot of pressure coming into the playoffs with such an inconsistent season. We went through so many different lineups. I think that was so special, the fact that we continued to play and adapt through all of that. It just shows our love for each other and the game.”

Kaylie McKinney, a sophomore, said it was gratifying to advance to the semifinals amidst doubt about the team’s overall strength this season. “It felt like a chance to prove people wrong and go get some more wins to finish the season,” she said. “Making special memories and spending every day with the people I love, making our relationships closer, made this season so special.”

Miller said her players each brought unique gifts and rugged determination to the squad. “Each player is as valuable as the others,” she said. “I am super proud of the integrity and unwavering effort they each gave to represent their school community. They played until the end and never stopped believing in their goal. That is what makes them a treasured team to coach. I’m so proud of them. Semifinalist in Division I is something to be proud of.”

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photos courtesy of Addie Uter