The volleyball team from St. Mary’s Dominican High School, which won its first state championship, was selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Girls’ Prep Team of the Year for 2020-21. The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class.
Top-seeded Dominican, which finished the year with a 31-2 record, rolled to the school’s first volleyball state title as it won the LHSAA Division I Championship despite having just two seniors on the roster. Dominican won its first four playoff matches (No. 32 Benton, No. 17 Chalmette, No. 8 Sulphur, No. 4 Mandeville) in straight sets before stopping St. Joseph’s Academy, 25-13, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, in a hard-fought championship match.
“I feel like these girls gave everything,” said head coach Jessica Chatellier. “They rolled with the punches all season. They went with everything that we had to do. They just pushed through. This means so much for our school. Last year, it was a confidence issue coming into this match, but the second we hit playoffs this year, there was never doubt in their minds that they were going to make this run and win it.”
Dominican also made the Division I state championship match in 2019, but it was stopped by Mount Carmel.
“We used last year as motivation and to keep us pushing until the end,” said junior libero Brooke Couret, who had 21 digs in the championship. “We used everything from last year, and we put it away just now. We did it for each other and for coach. To know that we won the school’s first state championship is special.”
The team was led throughout the year by junior setter Kate Baker, who was selected as the Gatorade Louisiana Volleyball Player of the Year. The Division I State Tournament MVP, Baker finished the championship match with 23 assists and 14 digs.
“We just came in with confidence the entire time, and that is what really pulled us through,” said Baker. “We didn’t care who was on the other side of the net. We knew if we played our game, that was enough to beat anyone.”
The other finalists for Greater New Orleans Girls’ Prep Team of the Year were Archbishop Hannan Softball, Country Day Volleyball and Mount Carmel Soccer. Hannan, which played all 26 of its regular-season games on the road (due to weather and scheduling), captured its second straight LHSAA Division II Softball Championship with a 12-2 blowout of third-seeded Haynes at Frasch Park in Sulphur. Country Day registered its fifth straight volleyball state championship as junior Kia Washington finished with a match-high 19 kills to lead the top seed to a straight-set win over No. 11 McGehee in the title match. Second-seeded Mount Carmel defeated top-seeded, and undefeated, Dominican in a 1-0 overtime thriller to capture the LHSAA Division I Soccer state title – it was the school’s seventh state championship.