News Post

Volleyball Team Finishes Second at State

The St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team advanced to the championship match of the 2021 Ochsner/LHSAA Volleyball State Tournament, played November 13 in the Cajundome. The No. 2 Redstickers lost a thrilling five-set match to No. 1 Dominican, the defending state champion. 

This was the second year in a row in which the Redstickers and Dominican met in the championship match. SJA came up just short in this year’s battle, losing 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 13-15. 

The Redstickers ended the season with a 34-9 record. Coach Sivi Miller said the year was marked by hard work, dedication and teamwork. The discipline on display throughout the season was heightened during the playoffs, when the Redstickers dropped just one set in the four matches leading up to Saturday’s championship match. 

“It is a joy to coach a team like this when they can relax while keeping the intensity alive and have fun doing it,” Miller said. “It has been a true honor to coach them all season and watch them battle until the end. Unfortunately, we did not succeed in bringing home the state title, but the final match of the season will be one to remember for a long time. With a five-set match ending with a score of 15-13, the state title for Division I could have gone to either team. So in my eyes, this team is made up of champions. Going into the state tournament, all the coaches asked of the team was to bring their best and leave it all on the court. That is exactly what they did this past weekend.”

Senior Morgan Perry characterized the year as amazing. “This group of girls are my sisters, and I love each of them dearly,” she said. “To come so close is heartbreaking, but to say I am proud would be an understatement. I have zero regrets from Saturday night, and I know we all left it on the court. The greatest accomplishment this season is that we played together through thick and thin.” 

Junior Ellie Foco said losing the championship match was tough, but she expressed tremendous pride in her team’s effort. “We never gave up,” she said. “The outcome was not what we wanted, but we fought until the very end. This season has been amazing. Not only have we been successful on the court, but off the court, we have created some great relationships, and these relationships have allowed us to thrive as a team. Our biggest successes this year have been coming together and beating all of our biggest rivals.”

Junior Anna Musso said ending the 2021 season with a down-to-the-wire, five-set championship match underlines the Redstickers’ courage and love for one another. It also proved that this team can go toe-to-toe with anyone. “A five-set match that was point for point just goes to show that neither team was better than the other,” Musso said. “The game truly could have gone either way. A game with such passion, intensity and hard work from both teams just goes to show that both teams were deserving of a state championship title. I am grateful to be able to play a team like Dominican because they pushed us to our limits, took us out of our comfort zone and showed us our true potential. I will forever remember this is as the best season I have had at SJA, and I am happy to say that I got to experience it with my teammates who are now my best friends. Every single person on this team is a state champion in my heart, and they forever will be.”

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photos courtesy of Chris Counce