Dominican Volleyball Selected as Girls’ Prep Team of the Year for New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (July 7, 2021) – The volleyball team from St. Mary’s Dominican High School, which won its first state championship, 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, 23 individuals and two teams will be honored for their 2020-21 achievements at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Awards Banquet on July 24. Honorees are being announced over a period of 23 days, wrapping up with the Corbett Awards for the top male and female amateur athletes in the state on July 20 and 21.
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.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will continue announcing its annual awards tomorrow (Thursday) as the Louisiana Collegiate Coach of the Year will be released at 10 a.m. (finalists will be announced at 11:30 a.m. today on Twitter (@SugarBowlNola).
Jimmy Collins Special Awards: Dr. Greg Stewart, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Gerald Lewis, St. Augustine Basketball
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Julie Ibieta, Metairie Park Country Day Volleyball
Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Kristen Nuss, LSU Beach Volleyball
Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Jared Butler, Baylor Basketball
Eddie Robinson Award: Sidney Parfait, American Legion Baseball
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Team, New Orleans: McMain High School Basketball
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Team, New Orleans: Dominican Volleyball
Outstanding Collegiate Coach, Louisiana: July 8 (Thursday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Inductee: July 9 (Friday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Inductee: July 12 (Monday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Inductee: July 13 (Tuesday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Inductee: July 14 (Wednesday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Inductee: July 15 (Thursday)
Corbett Award – Female: July 20 (Tuesday)
Corbett Award – Male: July 21 (Wednesday)
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee began in 1957 when 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 65th year in 2021. 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, 99 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 19 Heisman Trophy winners in its 87-year history. The 88th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will feature top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2022. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.