Local volleyball teams, coaches coping with Katrina aftermath

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 19, 2005

By Billy Gomila

Contributing Writer

LAPLACE – One of the many still unseen consequences of Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath is the affect that it will have on area sports teams.

Many schedules have already been drastically affected with schools in Orleans Parish and the surrounding area out for at least several months. No word has come yet from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association on how this will affect postseasons in the numerous fall sports.

There is also the issue of displaced players, particularly elligibility concerns for those who are now enrolled in schools outside of the district they reside in.

A sense of normalcy is starting to return to the five volleyball teams competing in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Many have already resumed play, picking up where their schedules had them already, and taking into account the games they will miss due to the situation in the metro area.

On Wednesday night, Riverside returned to the court and swept East St. John 25-19, 25-21 and 25 21 with Marci Martin picking up 11 kills for the Lady Rebels. East St. John was led by 6-5 outside hitter Ashlee Cooper, who finished with 13 kills and two blocks.

Another St. John public school went down quickly as West St. John lost to Ascension Catholic 25-17, 25-12 and 25-10.

“We’re just picking up where we left off,” said Glenda Mattos, West St. John’s volleyball coach. “That’s all we can do. We played a good tough game but we lost.”

Riverside coach Melissa Martin said that her team may try to make up some of the games they missed down the road, so that whatever postseason plan the LHSAA puts forth for volleyball, her team will have a chance to participate.

“We may add one here or there,” she said. “We can really make them up anytime we want, so long as we can agree to a date with the school. We just need to get some games.”

At LaPlace’s St. Charles Catholic, coach Michelle Dearmitt said the missed games shouldn’t affect her team’s seaosn too much.

“It hasn’t been too bad,” she said. “It’s just hard to get people on the phone to make things up with the phones being like they are. It was just a few games though.”

Neither team has seen their numbers increase or decrease after the storm, despite an influx of new students from the displaced areas at Riverside and St. Charles.

“We haven’t had anybody come out,” said Dearmitt.