Rebels primed for deeper postseason run

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 2010



Riverside’s volleyball team struggled down the stretch of the regular season last year, failing to garner a win against district foes John Curtis and St. Charles Catholic —and with SCC the draw as its first round playoff opponent, things would have to turn around in a hurry for the Rebels to have hope of extending their playoff stay.

But the Rebels indeed pulled off an about face in their matchup with the Comets, striking early by winning the first game, then seizing an improbable comeback win in the fourth en route to clinching a 25-19, 14-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-6 win in LaPlace.

Riverside would be eliminated at the hands of eventual state runner-up McGehee next round, but the team had a taste of success.

Now, most of those players return, and expectations are high at Riverside once again.

“All the girls have come in with really good attitudes,” said Hebert.

“We have 13 girls that dress and all of them know they have the potential to be on the court. They’re competing, and it’s only something that will make us better.”

The Rebels bring back Shea LaFountain, L’Observateur’s St. John Parish MVP last season. Last season, she boasted a balanced game, racking up 467 kills, 129 blocks and 592 digs. The athletic senior again promises to be one of the area’s premier threats.

Kristy Milioto is the other returning senior to the starting lineup after a strong season of her own last season. She combines with new starter Megan Malik to give Riverside solid height and defensive ability at the net. The Rebels lose only two starters from a year ago.

St. Charles, meanwhile, enters a retooling year, after losing the majority of a senior-laden lineup last season.

Compounding those efforts have been a rash of injuries this summer, including the loss of Jaymie Remondet, the team’s second leading hitter from a year ago who is currently sidelined.

Peyton Millet is the team’s lone senior starter with Remondet down. She will be the team’s new setter, moving over from the libero spot she was originally slated to play. Junior Heather Orillion and sophomore Chelsea Loupe have also shown promise and will look to provide punch as a duo of hitters this season.

“We lost four seniors, but we have some promising girls here,” said SCC coach Kelly Cupit. “Our district is one of the toughest around, certainly, but these girls want it as much as the girls did last season. It’s a matter of getting healthy right now.”

Ormoni Favorite, Brittany Tuco and Deja Feist are among those leading the charge for West St. John as they enter their first season under new coach Brandon Dumas.

“I feel like we have a veteran team,” said Dumas. “If we play like we’re capable, we should compete.”

Dumas says the team is adjusting well to his style. Familiarity has helped.

“Most of these girls play softball, too,” said Dumas, the coach of the school’s softball squad. “They all know me and what I expect. It should be a smooth transition.”

East St. John brings back four senior starters from a year ago: Alexis Banks, Taja McGee, Darichelle Sampson and Deznee Wilson.

ESJ plays in an always difficult District 6-5A. ESJ coach Monica Hebert said the team played a tougher slate in summer ball and has a tougher pre-district schedule, and hopes it prepares her team for the rigors of the stretch run.

“South Terrebonne, Dominican, Assumpion … we’ll have played stronger teams in than we have in the past,” Hebert said. “We’ll have seen that same level of competition.”