By Ron Brocato, Sports
Unlike most other championship sports sanctioned by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, the volleyball championship playoffs include both public and non-public schools.
As a result, not every school qualifies for the post-season tournament.
That, however, does not apply to the schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans this season. All 14 Catholic school volleyball teams are among the five division brackets.
And leading the parade are defending champions Mount Carmel (Division I) and Pope John Paul II (Division IV) with excellent chances of being repeat titlists as No. 1 seeds.
Mount Carmel is joined by district rivals Dominican and Archbishop Chapelle. While the champion and Dominican have drawn first-round byes, No. 11 seed Chapelle was scheduled to host Airline of Bossier City on Nov. 1.
In regional round play on Nov. 4, Mount Carmel will open at home against the winner of the Central (No. 16 seed) and Ponchatoula (No. 17) game. Dominican, the No. 5 seed, will host either No. 12 Slidell or No. 21 Lafayette. The higher seed in each bracket is home for the first two rounds. A team must win both matches to qualify for the Nov. 9-11 state tournament at the Pontchartrain Center. Teams drawing byes need to win only one game to move on.
Pope John Paul II is one of five New Orleans-area Catholic schools to send teams to the playoffs. The Lady Jaguars were scheduled to face the winner of the No. 17 Haynes Academy vs. No. 16 Delcambre match in the regional round on Nov. 2.
Also drawing byes in Division IV are No. 4 Archbishop Hannan, the 2016 runner-up in this division, and No. 8 Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Both play their first match on or about Nov. 2. Sacred Heart hosts either No. 9 Evangel or No. 24 Many.
St. Charles Catholic, the No. 13 seed, will have hosted No. 20 Patterson on Oct. 31 with Hannan awaiting the victor in the regional round.
Traveling will be St. Mary’s Academy, the No. 19 seed, going to No. 14 Port Allen in West Baton Rouge Parish.
Cabrini, St. Scholastica and Academy of Our Lady won enough matches to qualify for their Division II tournament bracket.
Cabrini is the No. 2 seed and St. Scholastica the No. 3 seed. Both are idle in the bi-district round and just need to win one match to make it to the Pontchartrain Center.
Academy of Our Lady, the No. 12 seed, does not get a bye but will be at home to take on No. 21 Salmen. If the Penguins are victorious, they will visit No. 5 South Terrebonne on Nov. 4.
Ursuline Academy and De La Salle are among the 24 teams to qualify for the Division III tournament. Ursuline is a No. 4 seed and draws a bye. The Lions will host the winner of the No. 20 Madison Prep vs. No. 13 St. Martinville match in the regionals on Nov. 2.
De La Salle, which earned a No. 10 seed, will be at home in the first round, set for Oct. 31. The Lady Cavaliers will greet No. 23 West Feliciana. The winner travels to Lafayette to face Northside in the regional round.
St. Katharine Drexel Prep is a No. 14 seed in the Division V bracket and was scheduled to host No. 19 Houma Christian on Oct. 31.
Volleyball tournament top seeds
1. Mount Carmel
2. St. Joseph Academy
3. East Ascension
Others: 5. Dominican, 11. Archbishop Chapelle.
1. Teurlings Catholic
3. St. Scholastica
Other: 12. Academy of Our Lady.
1. Vandebilt Catholic
2. St. Michael
3. Parkview Baptist
4. Ursuline Academy
Other: 10. De La Salle.
1. Pope John Paul II
2. Notre Dame
3. University Lab
4. Archbishop Hannan
Others: 8. Academy of the Sacred Heart, 13. St. Charles Catholic, 19. St. Mary’s Academy.
1. Country Day
3. Ascension Episcopal
4. Central Catholic
Other: 14. St. Katharine Drexel Prep.