RA’s Garcich, SCC’s Ryan top 2008 L’Observateur All-Parish Team

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008


Sports Editor

When Riverside’s Heidi Garcich served an ace to finish off her team’s memorable comeback win in the bi-district playoffs against St. Thomas Aquinas, many in attendance might have been surprised that the Rebels were able to stave off elimination in such an improbable manner.

But few, if any, would be surprised that it was Garcich who came though to clinch it.

For the senior hitter it was just the latest instance of many clutch performances in a Rebels uniform. And it’s just one example of why Garcich is L’Observateur’s choice as the 2008 St. John Parish Volleyball MVP.

St. Charles, meanwhile, brought home its second straight undefeated District 6-III championship under Coach Brandy Ryan, who in two seasons at the school has yet to lose a district match in 16 chances. Ryan has been chosen as L’Observateur’s 2008 St. John Parish Coach of the Year.

Garcich helped to lead the Rebels to a 27-15 record and a trip to the Pontchartrain Center for the second straight season. Defensively, Garcich was lights out — her 892 digs led all parish players, by a large margin. Her 381 kills also led the parish. Garcich led her team with 86 aces, and added 28 blocks for good measure.

It’s Garcich’s second St. John Parish MVP award, after receiving the honor as a sophomore in 2006.

Ryan has led SCC to the Pontchartrain Center in each of her two seasons with the team, and has swept rival Lutcher in the regular season en route to the District 6-III title each year. St. Charles finished 16-14 in 2008.

Three of Ryan’s players that led the Comets to such heights join her on the All-St. John squad: juniors Courtney Western and Meg Gustafson and senior Brooke Becker.

Western, fresh off of a season where she was selected as the District 6-III MVP, is the leading setter in the parish with 584 assists, and the leading server with 284 aces. Becker was one of the area’s most well rounded players, posting over 100 digs, kills, blocks and aces. Gustafson was the team’s leading defensive player, totaling 287 digs, and a key reason why the Comet defense proved difficult to score upon throughout 2008.

West St. John is represented on the All-St. John team by junior Kyla Morris, who stepped up as the Rams offensive leader this season. Morris was one of the top all-around players at the net in District 3-V, one of that district’s leaders in kills and blocks.

Finally, Reserve Christian is repped by the All-St. John squad’s youngest player, Lacie Felder, who led the Eagles with 100 kills in 23 games and helped the Eagles to an improved third place finish in District 6-V.