Lady Rebels set for 9 a.m. Thursday quarterfinal match

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016

RESERVE — You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the Riverside Academy volleyball team.

Actually, Riverside will have to get up pretty early, too.

The Lady Rebels, the No. 3 seed in the Division IV bracket, will open play in the 2016 State Volleyball Tournament with a 9 a.m. Thursday quarterfinal match against No. 6 seed Academy of the Sacred Heart at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

To prepare, coach Margot Frederick said Monday she was planning to have her team practice Tuesday morning — early.

“We’re having practice at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday just to get used to moving around that early,” Frederick said. “We don’t usually play well in the morning, so I guess I’m going to have to buy them donuts or something.”

This is Riverside’s second consecutive trip to the state tournament and its fifth trip in seven years. The Lady Rebels have reached the semifinals three times, but not since 2013. They have never advanced to a championship match.

The Lady Cardinals have won 13 state titles, the last in 2006.

Frederick said she really is fine with her team’s early start, mainly because it will allow for more students to attend the match and root the Rebels on.

“They’re bringing fan buses,” she said. “Pretty much any kid who turns in a permission slip will get to go. I can’t imagine kids not wanting to get out of school for a couple of hours.”

Frederick also is looking forward to the match itself because it should be a great one.

She said the two teams are very similar in size and style. The two met in a jamboree in August with Riverside outlasting the Cardinals 28-26.

“We match up very well,” she said. “They’re just like us. It’s going to be a bunch of long rallies, it’s going to be hellacious. We already know that. We saw them in a jamboree at the start of the season and now we’re both better. They fight and they have a history of being a good program.”

Frederick also has coached a couple of Sacred Heart’s players in club ball.

“I know they’re going to be ready,” she said.

So are the Rebels.

After knocking of Curtis last week for the third time to advance to the tournament, kill leader Sydney Joseph said her team is confident.

“We got this,” she said. “Our team stays together and I love that.”

She said they also learned some lessons from last year’s trip.

“Last year we worked so hard and we made it to the Pontchartrain Center and we lost,” she said. “This year, we don’t want to do that again because it was a bad feeling. I think this time we know what to expect. We know it’s going to be a great feeling to win state and I want to win state.”