Business trip Iowa, Iota determined to capture state title

The Yellow Jackets’ Kamryn Howard, No. 5, and Ella Arabie, team up to block Iota’s Chloe Bordelon during a Division III, District 2 match on Oct. 28 in Iowa. Iowa and Iota will be competing in the state volleyball tournament beginning Thursday in Lafayette.

There will be no time for fun and games for Iowa and Iota as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state volleyball tournament tips off Thursday at the Cajundome in Lafayette.

Both teams compete in Division III and are on opposite sides of the bracket, meaning the district rivals could meet for the championship.

“We are going in to win,” Iowa head coach Grant Anderson said. “It ain’t a vacation for us. It is a business trip.”

No. 7 Iowa (19-18) will face No. 2 E.D. White (21-13) in the quarterfinals at 4:20 p.m. Thursday, while No. 5 Iota (23-18) takes on No. 4 St. Michael the Archangel (22-8) at 8 p.m. The semifinals will be Friday followed by the finals on Saturday.

Iowa is making its second trip to the state tournament in three seasons. The Yellow Jackets have a handful of players from the 2019 team: Ana Alexander, Bentley Richard, Maddie Yongbloed, Ella Arabie and Kamryn Howard, but made some changes, such as moving Alexander from libero to setter.

“Each year is totally different,” Anderson said. “It took us a while to find the right combination of people, whether it be injuries or working people in different positions. We finally found the right combination of chemistry and they started to click.”

Iowa’s opponent is a fixture at the state tournament. The Cardinals were a semifinalist last year and runners-up in 2018 and 2019.

“They are one of the blue bloods of Division III for sure,” Anderson said. “They have been to the state tournament something like 19 of the last 20 years.

“We are going to have our work cut out for us. It is going to be a challenge. But with the amount of heart the girls play with, they have not backed down from a challenge yet this season. We just have to play to our identity. We are just going to try to play with more heart, not let the ball hit the ground and focus on our defensive mechanics and positioning.”

Iota

Led by seniors Leah Hebert, Charly Sensat, Annsley Gatte and Ella Jabusch, Iota is making its first quarterfinal appearance since 2016.

“I remember wrapping up tryouts last May and thinking to myself, there is just something special about this group,” Iota head coach Meredith Hebert said. “We set a goal at the beginning of the season that this team would be playing in the LHSAA state tournament in November, and here we are.

“Through patience, position adjustments, tough competition in our schedule, and the leadership of my seniors, is how we prepared for this moment.”

Like E.D. White, St. Michael’s is a state tournament regular with six consecutive appearances.

“St. Michael’s is a solid, well-coached team,” Hebert said. “They have some tall girls and strong hitters.

“I think to be able to beat a team like them we have to maintain our composure and play our game. We will have to keep the energy high while attacking on offense with confidence and being scrappy as we know how on defense. We have worked hard and played some really tough teams this year, and we are ready as we can be.”

Local News

First legislative session was mixed bag for Landry

Local News

Cassidy among leaders marking D-Day anniversary in France

Crime

6/4: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

New Orleans plans to spiff up as host of next year’s Super Bowl

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Disappointing session is over

Crime

State Police investigating officer-involved shooting on I-10

Local News

Rousse: Expect more specialized degrees at McNeese, fewer general studies offerings

Local News

McNeese Rodeo Team going to the College National Finals Rodeo 

life

Lake Area Beekeepers Club to present program at the Sulphur Library

life

VIDEO: Dinosaurs take over Central Library

Local News

Cassidy: Insurance crisis hurting Louisiana families

Crime

Arrest made in LaGrange Street shooting

Crime

6/4: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

President Biden’s brother, son’s widow among witnesses expected at Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial

Crime

Iowa man gets 10-year sentence for sexual battery, domestic abuse

Local News

Yet another round of thunderstorms expected this afternoon

life

Westlake Recreation Center renamed after local ‘icon’

Local News

‘This close’ but Tigers can’t hold on, season ends

LSU Sports

‘This close,’ but Tigers come home empty

life

United Way empowering the youth of SW La. with Summer of Service initiative

Local News

Lawmakers approve surgical castration of child sex offenders

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Free junior golf clinic

Crime

Crimes against nature conviction, sentence will stand

Local News

Sexually transmitted disease rates a cause for concern in La.