Hannan takes out St. Louis in straight sets
KENNER — No. 11 St. Louis Catholic tried to make a run late in the first and second set but couldn’t hold off No. 3 Archbishop Hannan Thursday in the Division III quarterfinals at the state volleyball tournament.
The Hawks won 25-18, 25-16, 25-11.
“The big thing for us has been trying to say in it and stay aggressive, and not waver too much,” St. Louis head coach Elizabeth Thompson said. “People in Lake Charles know how difficult it has been. Between having our school having to be rebuilt, being in temporary buildings, our gym was torn down on top of the pandemic, our girls have fought very hard.
“I am super proud of this group of girls to have kept their heads down and worked really hard and fought as long as they could. Hannan is just a really good team.”
The Hawks (17-11) are coached by former St. Louis Catholic head coach Rebekka Bonnaffee, who led the Saints to the Division III state championship in 2006 and coached Thompson during her days as a Saint.
“Since I have been coaching at St. Louis, I have enjoyed putting her on our schedule,” Thompson said. “She was a great coach when she was at St. Louis, and she still is. They have a great program.
“It is always a lot of fun to play your old coach and even her daughter who is now on the team.”
St. Louis (7-8) fell behind 9-1 in the first set as the Hawks benefited from two kills a block by middle hitter Rylee Morris.
St. Louis worked its way back in, getting within three point five times with help from a pair of kills by freshman outside hitter Grace Simien and another from senior Leah Richert. But each time the Saints got within striking distance, the Hawks had an answer from either Morris in the middle or Sophia Bonnaffee and Alisha Wischkaemper from the outside position.
“It took us a little while to get started in the beginning,” Thompson said. “I think there was a little bit of shell shock from being here (Pontchartrain Center) and as loud as it was.
“We just couldn’t hold it together long enough and put enough points together to get us a nice run. Hannan kept doing it, and that is how they ended up pulling out the first two, and we just couldn’t hang in the third set.”
Simien and junior outside hitter Ella Demolle led St. Louis with eight kills apiece and senior Clairelynn Wright finished with 12 assists. Sophomore Billie Painter had nine digs.
St. Louis 18-16-11
St. Louis (7-8): Grace Simien (8 kills), Ella Demolle (8 kills, 2 blocks), Leah Richert (2 blocks), Clairelynn Wright (12 assists), Billie Painter (9 digs), Dillon Anderson (7 digs). Archbishop Hannan (17-11).