All St. John Volleyball Team
Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 24, 2016
LAPLACE — Riverside Academy volleyball coach Margot Frederick said she went into the 2016 season with a really good feeling.
The Ohio transplant had led the Lady Rebels to a fairly successful run in her first season as the coach and didn’t lose any of her players heading into this one.
Among those players was 2015 All-St. John the Baptist Parish Player of the Year Sydney Joseph.
Naturally, expectations were high for 2016.
“I went into it with a really good feeling,” Frederick said. “I kind of knew things were going to go well. This year was better for me than the first year, personally. I think the kids knew what to expect. Our relationships were stronger. They were much more comfortable and quick to take instruction.”
All that showed on the court as the Lady Rebels went 28-1 to start the season. That just served notice.
The team finished 39-6 overall, won the district title, earned the No. 3 seed in the Division IV bracket and reached the annual State Tournament in the Pontchartrain Center for the second year in a row.
Not everything went as planned, however.
While the Lady Rebels were hoping to reach the semifinals for the first time in school history, they were defeated by No. 6 seed Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals.
“Losing to Sacred Heart was a shock to them,” Frederick said. “That’s not to say they were overconfident. That was just the expectation.”
The season still was a great success, Frederick said.
“The program has always been good,” she said. “We’ve had success. I think the way our kids do things, we’ve become a little bit more respected by the way we play the game. People are more aware of us now.”
Opponents certainly were aware of Joseph.
The area’s best player as a sophomore, Joseph made an even bigger impact in her junior season.
Last year the 5-foot-10 middle blocker/outside hitter had 399 kills. This season she finished with 615 kills, along with 247 digs and 113 aces.
“She increased her kill total by like 200 and we only played five more games,” Frederick said. “I think what really stands out the most about her is she really grew as an athlete, in the sense of her leadership role.”
St. Charles Catholic had more of an up-and-down season with second-year coach Meg Ericksen.
The Lady Comets finished 17-19 and were swept by their cross-town rival in their final season as class and district opponents for at least the next few years.
They did earn the No. 17 seed in the Division IV bracket, losing to No. 1 seed Pope John Paul II.
Ericksen missed that game following the birth of her first child.
East St. John High and West St. John High had tumultuous years under first-year head coaches.
The Lady Wildcats were rocked when, just before the start of the season, it was announced that head coach Chelsey Nicholas-Lucas had been hired as the head coach at Alcorn State University.
Her assistant, Jarranisha Allen, herself a fulltime college student at Dillard University, stepped in to coach the team, which improved to take a pair of late-season wins.
Dayna Nicholas took over the young West St. John team and put together a limited schedule.
2016 L’OBSERVATEUR All-St. John Parish Volleyball Team
Briley Becker, Riverside Academy, Jr.: The junior middle blocker/outside hitter was a solid compliment to Joseph. She finished with 421 kills, 28 assists, 398, digs, 60 aces and 14 blocks.
Chardae Berthelot, East St. John, Jr.: The force of the Lady Wildcats, this middle blocker averaged 11 kills, six aces, five digs and six blocks per game.
Abby Bourgeois, Riverside Academy, Jr.: The setter for the Lady Rebels finished with 1,250 assists this season. She also served 105 aces and had 242 digs.
Dorian Brown, East St. John, So.: A setter and outside hitter, Brown averaged 12 assists, five kills, three aces and eight blocks per game.
Jori Bryant, St. Charles Catholic, Jr.: This middle blocker finished with 55 kills, seven aces and 81 blocks this season.
Robbie Duhe, St. Charles Catholic, Sr.: A solid middle hitter, Duhe had 97 kills, 35 aces, 47 blocks and 15 block assists.
Maddie Duhon, Riverside Academy, Sr.: A leader on the court, the Lady Rebels’ libero had 457 digs. She also served 70 aces.
Troynisha Gerard, East St. John, Jr.: An outside hitter, Gerard, who was team captain this season, averaged four kills and 10 digs per game.
Sydney Joseph, Riverside Academy, Jr.: The returning All-St. John Player of the Year, Joseph had 615 kills, 113 aces, 247 digs, 15 blocks and 35 block assists this season.
Amiya Lumar, West St. John, Jr.: Lumar was the most consistent player on the Lady Rams’ young team this season.
Grace Mohon, St. Charles Catholic, Jr.: The most consistent threat of the Lady Comets, she scored 220 kills, 91 assists, 61 aces, 21 block assists.
Kate St. Pierre, Riverside Academy, So.: The young outside hitter finished with 203 kills, 73 aces and 175 digs.
Pylar Zeringue, St. Charles Catholic, Jr.: Another solid hitter, Zeringue finished with 85 kills, 33 aces, six blocks and 10 block assists.
Player of the Year:
Sydney Joseph, Riverside Academy
Coach of the Year:
Margot Frederick, Riverside Academy