Sharp leads All-Parish

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2012



By the time Riverside entered district volleyball play this season, calling the Rebels “battle-tested” would have been almost comically understated.

RA faced four Division I foes in their first six games and things got no easier from there as the Lady Rebs faced a host of perennial contenders from each classification and emerged from it stronger, nailing down the District 4-IV championship, an honor shared with rival John Curtis.

That district championship performance is a big reason why three Rebels adorn this year’s L’Observateur All-St. John Parish volleyball team along with their coach, a group led by Rebels’ hitter Danielle Sharp, this season’s Most Valuable Player.

After the graduation of Rebels’ star Shea LaFountain, St. John’s MVP in each of the last two seasons, Riverside needed someone to step into the role of a go-to hitter. While the Rebels featured more hitting threats this season across the board, Sharp’s ability to finish plays brought her to the head of the pack. The junior tallied 308 kills, 79 digs, 73 blocks and 33 aces for Riverside this season.

Teammates Shelby Deslatte and Toni Hebert join her on the squad.

Deslatte was a defensive nightmare for opposing coaches — just when they believed a play was dead, she’d make a play to bring it back to life in horror movie-style fashion. The senior tallied 908 digs this season.

Hebert earns a spot on the team for the second time before even her freshman year. An eighth grader, Hebert’s 401 assists led the parish.

Coach Briget Melancon is this year’s Coach of the Year after leading Riverside to the district championship and a first round playoff victory over West St. Mary. Riverside bowed out of the postseason against eventual state semifinalist Newman, but Melancon’s first year saw the Rebels stand toe to toe with many of the state’s top teams.

St. John’s other three teams saw improvement across the board, with each team improving their record from 2010.

St. Charles Catholic sees two players make the squad in senior Heather Orillion and junior Nicole Doming.

Orillion turned into an impact player for St. Charles, producing more as a hitter and bringing strong defensive play to the court. Orillion’s passing and serving aptitude were assets to SCC.

Doming became more of an offensive weapon as the year went on, to the point where the Comets’ middle blocker became one of SCC’s go-to players down the stretch.

West St. John began hot and improved its win count by seven this season, going from two wins to nine. Senior Breion Sorapuru was the team’s top weapon, leading West St. John in kills and helping the Rams reach the Division V postseason.

East St. John also saw improvement under first year coach Avignon Williams, who entered determined to improve the team’s defensive play. The Wildcats indeed did that, and Diranique Daniels was a key reason at libero, helping to keep East St. John in games even on nights that the offense struggled.