Country Day Volleyball Recognized as Top Girls’ Prep Team in New Orleans Area
Photo by RomaPics for the LHSAA
NEW ORLEANS (May 28, 2020) – The Country Day volleyball team has been selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Girls’ Prep Team of the Year. 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. Overall, 24 individuals and four teams will be honored for their 2019-20 achievements. Honorees are being announced over a period of 24 days, wrapping up with the Corbett Awards for the top male and female amateur athletes in the state on June 10 and 11.
Country Day posted a dominant 48-2 record and rolled to its fourth straight Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division V state championship despite graduating key pieces from last year’s title team. The championship was the Cajuns’ 10th in the last 11 years. The team was led by all-state selections Kaci Chairs, Kelsey Dinvaut. Kate Launey and Nia Washington. Chairs, a senior middle blocker, finished the year with 288 kills and 73 blocks while posting a .327 hitting percentage; Dinvaut, a senior middle blocker, was a force at the net with 91 blocks, a .312 hitting percentage and 267 kills; Launey, the Cajuns’ senior libero, finished with 562 digs and 34 aces; and Washington had a sensational sophomore campaign with 421 kills, 332 digs and 29 aces.
“It is a great honor to have our Country Day volleyball team recognized with the Sugar Bowl Girls’ Prep Team of the Year Award,” said head coach Julie Ibieta, the small schools Metro Coach of the Year. “We had an amazing season with an unbelievable group of young women who put the team first and worked hard to be successful every day. I am fortunate to have the best staff and players as part of the program. It was one of the best, if not the best team that our program has had over the 15 years that I have been at Country Day.”
The other finalists for Greater New Orleans Girls’ Team of the Year were the Booker T. Washington basketball team, the John Curtis Christian basketball team and the Mount Carmel volleyball team. Booker T. Washington captured the first team state championship for the Lions since the school’s resurrection in 2016. John Curtis captured its fourth consecutive Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I state title as it defeated Mount Carmel 48-25 in the title game. Mount Carmel volleyball overcame the graduation of National Player of the Year Ellie Holzman to win its sixth straight Division I championship, defeating District 9-5A rival Dominican in three games in the title match.
Allstate Sugar Greater New Orleans Sports Awards, 2019-20
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Lakenya Reed, Booker T. Washington Basketball
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Nick Monica, Archbishop Rummel Football
Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Angela Charles-Alfred, Xavier University Tennis
Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Ja’Marr Chase, LSU Football
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Team, New Orleans: St. James High School Football
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Team, New Orleans: Metairie Park Country Day School Volleyball
Outstanding Collegiate Coach, Louisiana: Ed Orgeron, LSU Football
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Perry Clark, Tulane Basketball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Tim Floyd, UNO Basketball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Rick Jones, Tulane Baseball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Craig Perret, Horse Racing
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Ashley Tappin-Doussan, Swimming
Jimmy Collins Special Awards: Demario Davis, Eastbank Little League
Eddie Robinson Award: Keeshawn Davenport, UNO Basketball
Corbett Award – Female: Tonea Marshall, LSU Track & Field
Corbett Award – Male: Joe Burrow, LSU Football
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee began in 1957 when James Collins spearheaded a group of sports journalists to form a sports awards committee to immortalize local sports history. For 13 years, the committee honored local athletes each month. In 1970, the Sugar Bowl stepped in to sponsor and revitalize the committee, leading to the creation of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, honoring 10 legends from the Crescent City in its first induction class. While adding the responsibility of selecting Hall of Famers, the committee has continued to recognize the top amateur athlete in the Greater New Orleans area each month – the honors enter their 64th year in 2020. To be eligible, an athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.