It all started this past July. Early morning practices- two hours, six days a week. Undeterred by bruised knees and sore muscles, the 2017-2018 Dominican Varsity Volleyball team wasn’t letting anything stop them this season. Finishing with a ranking of fifth out of twenty-four teams in the Catholic League and making it to the state volleyball tournament were among the team’s biggest achievements this past season.
On Thursday, Nov. 9, the Dominican Volleyball team competed against Northshore High School at the Pontchartrain Center in the third round of city playoffs. Unfortunately, after a tough battle on the court, Dominican lost the five-game match to Northshore High School.
However, the team accomplished an important main goal of the season: achieving top eight status in the Catholic League. Due to their number five ranking, the varsity team received a bye in the first round of playoffs. In the second round of playoffs, the team won their ticket to the city playoffs at the Pontchartrain Center by defeating Slidell High School in the quarter-final game in the Siena Center on Saturday, Nov. 4.
“This team accomplished a lot this past season and put us back on the map,” said volleyball coach Mrs. Jessica Chatellier. “This is the first time in four years that we’ve been to the Pontchartrain Center, which is very rewarding.”
The team’s hard work over the duration of the season and commitment to their goal of being in the top eight teams yielded success in games and tournaments leading up to the playoffs. In the Catholic League Tournament held at Dominican on September 15, the team won five out of five games and beat St. Joseph’s Academy- the team who knocked them out of the playoffs last year and took second in the Louisiana State Tournament.
“As a team, we’ve learned that encouraging each other and staying positive helps us to be successful,” said senior setter Alexis Ceravola. “By doing that at the Catholic League tournament, we beat St. Joseph’s, which was a huge achievement.”
Each year, Mrs. Chatellier helps the team choose a quote that will inspire them to keep their heads up and play the best they can throughout the season. “Heart has no limit” was this year’s choice.
Inspired by the words of LSU baseball player Cole Freeman, “Heart has no limit” means that whether a team wins or loses, playing with their whole hearts will bring them further than any record. The Dominican Volleyball team wore this motto on the back of their practice shirts to keep them focused throughout the season on what really matters: playing with heart is most important.
The volleyball team’s hard work and perseverance led to a great final season for eight of the fourteen players – the seniors. “While I am sad that it came to an end, this season was unforgettable,” senior middle hitter Abby Slattery said. “Over the past five years of being on this team, we’ve gotten better every year.”
Everyone involved with the team-the players, coaches, parents- were ecstatic about the successful 2017-2018 season. “Everyone had the opportunity to show heart throughout the season,” said Mrs. Chatellier. “Even though we didn’t win in the end, we had a great season and I’m really proud.”
- Claire Dinwiddie
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