Cold water surrounded the swimmers as they dove into the pool to begin their races at the LHSAA State Meet in Sulphur, LA. Excitement filled their faces as they exited the pool, claiming fifth place in state.
Senior Rileigh Centanni placed second overall in the 100-yard breast stroke with a time of 1:09.49. Centanni also exceled in the 100-yard fly by placing in the top 16. “I’m so proud of myself and the team in how we did. It was a great way to end the season!” said Centanni.
Thirteen girls, ranging from eighth grade to senior year, qualified for state: eighth graders Kaylee Caro and Brianna Leatham; freshmen Riley Crespo, Brooke DiMaggio and Allyson Johnson; sophomores Olivia Cassreino, Catherine Kernion, Cecilia Hanemann and Emma Sullivan; junior Audrey Wild; and seniors Reese Centanni, Rileigh Centanni and Morgan Gunnels.
The swim team’s record of success didn’t start with state. At the District Meet in mid-October at the UNO Aquatic Center, the girls dominated the pool and earned second place. Additionally, the team placed fifth at the Metro Meet which also took place at UNO later that month.
Many team members had travelled to the state meet before, but for eighth graders Kaylee Caro and Brianna Leatham, it was a first-time experience like no other. “I was excited to go because everyone is supportive, and the seniors are so welcoming,” said Leatham.
Teammates cheering on teammates brings joy to Ms. Erin Baker’s eyes. “The girls learn it’s not just an individual sport. They also have to cheer on their teammates,” said Ms. Baker (’95), swim team moderator.
With morning practices twice a week and meets once a week since the start of school, the swim team puts so much effort into everything they do. “[This season] I’ve learned how much you put in is how much you get out,” said Kernion. “If you work hard enough you’ll achieve your goals!”
As longtime members of the team since eighth grade, Gunnels and the Centanni twins, Rileigh and Reese, have made their last splash into the water wearing the DHS uniform. “It’s sad because it’s something I’ve doing for so long,” said Gunnels. “This team made me a better person.
“Everyone on the team has shown me how to be the best person I can be and to never give up.”
The Dominican volleyball team fought their way
into the Pontchartrain Center for the LHSAA Volleyball State finals in
November. They bested the competition through the quarter and semi-finals,
ending a successful season as Division I State Runner-Up.
Throughout the season, the team paved their own path to finals. On Friday, Nov. 15, the team dominated the semi-final game against Mandeville High with a 3-1 win. This match was especially representative of the team’s growth, according to Mrs. Jessica Chatellier, the team’s head coach, who was honored with the title of Division I Coach of the year.
“Friday’s game was a culmination of everything they
had done this season,” said Mrs. Chatellier. “They really have made leaps and
bounds to play like this.” She said the game reflected the dedication the girls
had put forth since day one.
The tournament was a return visit to the Pontchartrain
Center for Mrs. Ashlee Juhas (’04), the team’s assistant coach, who went to the
state tournament in 2003 under Mrs. Chatellier’s coaching. “It was really
exciting to have the experience of state from two different levels, both as
player and as coach, especially with her [Mrs. Chatellier],” Mrs. Juhas said.
The team, consisting of four upperclassmen and
eight underclassmen, is affectionately known as the Fuzzy Dozen. The captains –
sophomore Kate Baker, setter, and senior Ally Firmin, defensive specialist – led
with a calm authority, according to the team. “We were really focused on bringing
energy and confidence to our fellow teammates,” said Baker.
The team boasted multiple standout players. Senior
Olivia Peyton, middle blocker, was named All-District MVP with a total of 400
kills and 40 blocks this season. Other players who made All-District are Baker
and sophomore Brooke Couret, first team; junior Elizabeth Hardouin, second
team; and honorable mentions, freshmen O’Neil Haddad and Zoe Smith.
Additionally, Peyton, Baker, and Hardouin were selected to the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-State team. The three players were picked for the All-Metro team as well with Couret selected as an honorable mention. Baker and Peyton were also chosen to the 2019 Clarion Herald Elite Team.
Part of the team’s recipe for success was the
energy provided by students and fans at games. “We wouldn’t have made it [to
the finals] without our amazing seniors on the team and the student body. Our
fans are a huge part of our success,” said Hardouin, a defensive specialist for
Senior Kennedy Payne was one of those dedicated
DominiFans. “Going to volleyball games just fills you up with passion for your
school,” said Payne. “It’s amazing to see everyone have so much pride in
“Although we didn’t take the state championship, I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Mrs. Chatellier said. “These girls have been so incredible, and I think we’ll be in a great place for next season.”
Dominican Golf Team swung into action and placed at the Regional Meet on April
23 after participating in the Metro Tournament on April 10. From the tee to the
green, the team competed well on the links.
the Regional Meet, the three members who competed were freshmen Ada Holmes,
Molly Stavinoha and Olivia Hurley. Holmes placed twelfth with a final score of
93. “I love being on this team,” said Holmes. “Even though we are a very small team,
we always find a way to laugh and have fun. Each time we play golf together, we
in the season at the Metro Tournament, Stavinoha, Hurley, freshman Barbara Algero and senior Saheba
Cuccia focused on the fairway. “I feel both sad and happy that I am finishing
my final season of golf. I have been on this team for five years, and it’ll
definitely be a change next spring when I do not get to play golf a few times a
week,” said Cuccia.
team has learned dedication with the help of the father-daughter coaching duo
Mr. Rick Ciolino and Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino (’07), coach and golf moderator, Coaching
together for five years now, Mr. Ciolino took on the role of head coach last
season. Ms. Ciolino, who also teaches in the P.E. department at DHS, says she enjoys
spending time with her father on the golf course.
something we have done for most of my life, and I don’t think I’ll ever get
tired of it,” said Ms. Ciolino. “He was always coaching me in any sport that I
played, so to see him coach others and see how much he enjoys it is pretty cool.”
far as coaching together goes, Ms. Ciolino said, “It’s fun to make coaching
decisions with him now instead of him making all of the decisions for me. I think
all of that has helped us grow in our relationship.” With the Ciolino duo
coaching the team, the golfers grew closer to one another throughout the
“I’m proud that the team really bonded this year and had a lot of fun while improving each of our own games,” said Cuccia. “We had the team spirit as well as the love of both golf and each other to always cheer each other on.”
the cheers of Dominifans encouraging them, the DHS Track and Field Team raced
through the 2018-2019 season.
since January, the team participated in meets and qualified for the District
and Regional Meets. The Track and Field Team season culminated with six girls
headed to the State Meet on May 4 at LSU.
State, freshman Catherine Kernion placed seventh in the Girls 3200 Meter Run. Additionally,
senior Lizzy Bourg competed in the Girls 1600 Meter Run. Kernion – along with juniors
Molly Alexander, Erin Sequeira and sophomore Izzy Dischner – also participated
in the 4×800 Meter Relay.
Paul Garvey, coach, said that the State Meet was interesting this year because
of the inclement weather conditions and racing format. “The stormy weather
created a situation we had to run the boys and girls events together, said Mr.
Garvey. This challenge was even further complicated by all school divisions
running simultaneously. Although the teams ran together, they were still scored
separately, according to Mr. Garvey.
in the season, the team participated in the Regional Meet held in Thibodaux on
April 25. Bourg placed second in the Girls 1600 Meter
Run with a time of 5:47.21, earing a state meet qualification. In the Girls
3200 Meter Run, Kernion came in third with a finishing time of 12:30.43.
Placing second with a time of 10:59.73 in the Girls 4×800 Meter Relay, yhe team
of Kernion, Alexander, Sequeira and Dischner earned their qualification for the
State Meet along with Bourg.
at April’s District Meet in City Park, the team ran well in the Girls 4×100
Meter Relay, coming in second. Junior Mia Taylor finished second in the 100
Meter Dash and third in the 200 Meter Dash with the times of 12.67 and 26.91.
“The team gave me the determination to try to do well in every meet,” said
Taylor. “We always support each other no matter the obstacle.”
2019 Track and Field Team was large and young, according to Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino
(’07), track coach. “We had a lot of eighth graders and to see them progress
and get better was exciting,” said Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino, track coach.
young members, “this season was a season where we had a lot of rebuilding to do,”
said Mr. Garvey. “We had younger athletes who did a good job by stepping up to
a veteran of the team, Bourg is nostalgic about her final Dominican Track and
Field season. “They’ve become my support system and what I look forward to each
day,” she said. “It’s sad to think about not seeing my teammates after school
“No matter what, I’m proud of what the team has done this season.”
April 27, Dominican defeated John Curtis High School in the LHSAA State
Tournament, capturing its first softball state championship in school history.
the state playoffs as undefeated district champions, Dominican roared through
the state tournament. Running the bases to the final championship game, DHS
emerged as state champs with a 5-3 victory John Curtis.
being state runner-up last year, softball coach Mrs. Dawn Benoit had high hopes
for this year’s team. “From the offense,
to the defense, to the young eighth graders and to everyone that contributed: I
am proud,” said Mrs. Benoit. “I was extremely emotional because my girls are
everything to me.”
the last two years, Dominican was just “excited to be in the finals,” said Athletic
Director Mr. Paul Spitzfaden. “This season, the team had goals, a stronger
mindset and team confidence, which hasn’t been the case in the past. We are now
the number one seed.”
win was the perfect end to senior Elizabeth Crotchet’s season as well as her
Dominican softball career. “It was an honor to play along side 20 other girls
this season and end it the way we did,” said Crotchet, senior. “I was filled
with joy knowing that we made history but sad knowing it was the last time ever
wearing that uniform.”
winning the state championship title, the team had been dominating games left
and right. In March, Dominican defeated Archbishop Chappelle High School 8-2
then Mount Carmel Academy 6-4, clinching the district title with a perfect 6-0
With only two seniors moving on, the team has high hopes for success in 2020. “It’s a great feeling,” said second baseman Alyssa Helwig, junior. “I couldn’t have asked to do it with any other girls.”
The 2019 Dominican Tennis Team served up a successful season. The team took to the court at the Regional Tournament on April 16 at City Park and finished as runner up, with all eight players qualifying for State.
Sophomore Mary Parker Whisnant rallied
to the finals singles match at the tournament and finished as the regional
runner up. “I wanted to get as far as I
could in regionals,” said Whisnant. “Making it to the finals was definitely an
accomplishment.” Whisnant also felt that the team “grew closer together and
definitely learned a lot about each other” during this experience.
As Regional runner up, DHS advanced
to the State Tournament on April 26-27 in Monroe, LA. The eight players who
qualified for state were juniors Annamarie Allen, Lucy Harper, Adele Hoth and
Rachel Schlosser; sophomores Marist Bourg and Mary Parker Whisnant; and eighth
graders Kay Harper and Rachel Natal.
Doubles players Allen and Schlosser
advanced to the second round of the State Tournament. Additionally, singles
player Whisnant also advanced to the second round then to the quarter finals,
where the team’s season ended. “I was really excited to get that far in state
this year,” said Whisnant.
Although the team’s season ended in
the quarter finals round, they still accomplished a team goal. According to
Mrs. Stephanie Bollman, tennis coach, their team goal was to get a full roster at
the State Tournament.
With a successful season on the court, the team is ready for next year. Schlosser is looking forward to spending her last year with her team. “I’m proud of what we accomplished this season,” she said, “and I’m excited to do it again next year.”
With a regular season record of 23-6, the Dominican
Basketball Team reached the Division I state semifinals in Alexandria for the
third year in a row. Following their 40-24 win against Byrd in the state quarter
finals, Dominican faced Mount Carmel and ended the season with pride.
The team’s Feb. 28 game against the Cubs ended their run but
undoubtedly showed the determination and grit the players showcased throughout
“I’m so proud of this team and all they’ve accomplished.
Getting to know and work with these players is such an honor,” said Mr. Ryan
Reuter, head basketball coach.
The team began the season the same way they finished – strong.
Dominican’s performance earned the team a “high power rating” from the Louisiana
High School Athletic Association heading into the post season.
The 2018-2019 season, while a success for the team, was by no
means an easy lay-up.
Two varsity players suffered major knee injuries, benching
them for the season.
Sophomore starter Grace Hamblin, center, tore her meniscus in mid-November, forcing her to undergo surgery early in the season. Hamblin’s teammate freshman Allison Tullier, forward, tore her ACL in January, which ended her season.
Without two key players, the team fought to earn every win.
“After losing two teammates, everyone’s definitely had to
step up,” said Ahjah Yunusah, varsity captain.
“A lot of people had to fill those starter positions and just go with
Yunusah, a senior and starting forward, led the team on and
off the court, playing in all 29 games this season and motivating her fellow
athletes to play for something bigger than themselves.
“We’ve had to work harder in practice and games, and the bond that comes from that work is what has made us this successful,” said Yunusah. “We try to play for Grace and Allison because we know they’re counting on us.”
In her final season, Yunusah scored a total of 177 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic held at the Alario Center in January.
With strong leadership and staunch determination, Dominican
basketball showed dedication and nerve, slam dunking tournament after
The Sugarbowl, De La Salle and Episcopal tournaments all ended
in black and white victory, and the team’s unremitting efforts helped players
to keep their heads in the game even on the hardest days.
Freshman Sydney Sherman, forward, led the team in scoring
with 187 season points. As a varsity starter, Sherman was also named to the
Allstate Sugarbowl All-Tournament Team, helping the team to victory time and
Junior Kylie Barre, guard, also had a notable season with 47
steals and 70 assists as an upperclassmen starter. Barre was named as the
Allstate Sugarbowl Tournament’s Most Valuable Player and sees a bright future
for the upcoming season.
Two underclassmen also rebounded the season by stepping up to the hoop and holding their own. Guard Kate Baker along with forward Sherman were both played as Varsity starters and slam-dunked their freshmen season on the team.
In the post season, the team’s accolades kept coming. Captain Ahjah Yunusah was named to the LHSAA All-Academic Basketball Team; Freshman Sydney Sherman was named to the All-District Basketball Team; and Junior Kylie Barre was named to the All-District Basketball Team, the Clarion Herald Girls Elite Basketball Team, and awarded with an All-Metro Honorable Mention.
“They work hard. They’re scrappy,” said head coach Ryan
Reuter. “I feel fortunate to coach good players and good kids. Not everybody has
The team may have wrapped up their season, but Mr. Reuter is
already looking to next year.
“We have a fairly young team, but the players are experienced
and not overwhelmed by the game,” said Mr. Reuter. “I’m excited to see what
next season holds for our up and comers.”
Barre agrees. “I’m really excited to see what next season
holds for us,” she said. “I think the seniors this year definitely set the tone,
and I just hope we can lead this team as the past seniors have led me, passing down
what they’ve taught us season after
“I can’t wait to be back and on the court with my favorite group of people,” she added. “Our hopes for next year are to bring home a state title and show everyone what Dominican basketball is all about.”
Spike! Run! Swim! All three of Dominican’s fall sports teams strove to achieve their team goals. The Volleyball Team led the pack by spiking their way through season and making it to the Bi-District Rounds of the Volleyball Playoffs.
Following the Volleyball Team’s lead, the Cross Country Team had a great season and ran all the way to the State Competition, placing fourth. Soon afterwards, the Swim Team closed a rewarding season, taking fourth place at the State Competition in November.
The Swim Team Performs Swimmingly
On Nov. 16-17, the Dominican Swim Team competed the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Swim Meet in Sulphur State Competition resulting in the team placing fourth. Senior Hannah Morris also became the state champion in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing with a time of 2:08.17, just days after signing with Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Thirteen team members competed in state, and it was a very rewarding season overall, according to moderator Ms. Erin Baker (’95).
Gathering around one of their co-captains, the Swim Team congratulates senior Hannah Morris as she signs with Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on Nov. 14.
According to junior Morgan Gunnels,
the girls always make sure to keep each other motivated and support each other
throughout the ups and downs in the season. “They’re my support system,” said
Gunnels. “They taught me the power of encouragement and how it can keep me
The Cross-Country Team Races to State
The Cross-Country Team ran their
way State Competition and kept running until the team placed fourth.
The team beat the odds while running at the
state meet. According Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino (’07), cross-country coach, the girls
went into this meet not knowing what to expect. The weather was cold. The
ground was muddy. The girls had never run in conditions like this before.
Despite the weather setbacks, the
girls still ran and placed fourth overall. “I’m really proud of how the girls
ran in state and in that weather,” said Ms. Ciolino. “I’m very proud of how
they handled that.”
The team also accomplished one of their main team goals of winning regionals with freshman Kelsey Major placing first overall with a time of 18:19, which is the second-best time for a Dominican runner. Major also placed eighth at State, accomplishing a personal goal of placing in the Top Ten. “It felt rewarding because of the work we put in during the season,” said Major.
Bump, Set, Spike into the End of the Season!
The Volleyball Team had a successful
and winning season. “We had a young team and a very successful year,” said Mrs.
Jessica Chatellier, volleyball coach.
All the Volleyball Team’s hard work
throughout the season paid off when the team made it to the Bi-District Round
of the Playoffs after a great season. The girls then advanced to the Regional
Round of the Playoffs after being victorious over Barbe High School, winning a three-game
Although they fell to Mount Carmel Academy in the next round, they fought their hardest and had a great season. “We grew closer as a young team,” said junior Adele Hoth. “They’re my second family and they teach me how to work hard.”
Weather is not a problem for the Dominican soccer team.
Through harsh winds and cold practices, the hard work is surely paying off. The team has kicked off the season with victories, scoring 4-0 against Destrehan High School at their scrimmage game, 8-0 against Bonnabel High School at their district game and another 8-0 against L.W. Higgins High School in November.
“Continuing to train hard and putting that work into games are helping the team improve,”said Mr. Al Silvas, soccer coach.
Continuing their winning trend, the team successfully scored 8-1 against Fountainebleu High School and a 2-0 against E.D. White. Senior Olivia Singleton, co-captain center forward, scored both goals against E.D. White.
With such a great start to the season, Singleton is excited for the year. Because she’s been on varsity for five years, “this team means a lot and has taught me to be a leader,” said Singleton. “I’ve learned to play the game, but also to teach the game.”
With years of hard work and dedication under her belt, Singleton has signed with Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne to pursue her soccer career in college. “It’s definitely emotional, since this is my last year. Giving your all to a sport definitely takes a piece of your heart,” said Singleton.
Along with Singleton, senior Bella Cordoba, co-captain and attacking midfielder, has signed to continue her playing career at Louisiana Tech in Ruston.
“It’s one of my biggest goals in my life that I’ve finally accomplished,” Cordoba said. “It makes me happy to know that all my hard work has paid off.”
As the season progresses, DHS soccer players have one goal in their mind.”Our team has a board where we write our goals, and our main one is district championships,” said Singleton.
A personal goal defender Molly Walter, junior, strives to accomplish is becoming a better soccer player overall. “I’m striving to be a better teammate and a better friend,” said Walter. “I hope to become closer to the underclassmen as I approach my senior year.”
The soccer team has had a successful start to the season as it continues throughout winter. “There’s been a little more focus so far than last year. We’re going to continue to get better each and every game,” said Mr. Silvas. “Team unity has definitely started out strong.”
Ten years of cheering, ten years of pink face paint and ten years of raising money for breast cancer awareness. Dominican volleyball celebrates a decade of hosting the annual Pink Game.
Flooding the gym with pink, the student body, parents, faculty and alumnae gathered on Oct. 16 in the Siena Center in support of the fight against breast cancer. Three competitive games, juicy burgers, delicious hot dogs, and auction items for sale raised school spirit while fundraising for breast cancer patients.
During a competitive match against the Chapelle Chipmunks, junior Olivia Peyton and sophomore Brook Jenny block a return during the annual Pink Game on Oct. 16. The varsity volleyball team finished close playing five matches against Chapelle. (Photo by Kathryn Valldejuli)
The eighth grade, JV and varsity teams played tough matches against Archbishop Chapelle during the Pink Game series. JV was victorious, while eighth grade and varsity fought close matches but ultimately fell to the Chipmunks after five games. Though the games were not all in the “W” category, the fundraising effort was a real winner. This year, Dominican raised $13,503 that will be sent to the Tulane Cancer Center for breast cancer patients.
“It’s so exciting to be able to use a sport I love to change people’s lives,” said Mrs. Jessica Chatellier, head volleyball coach.
The fundraising effort is a vital piece of the Pink Game tradition. To raise money to fight breast cancer and raise awareness, DHS stages auctions and raffles. Tables lined the Siena Center atrium with baskets full of prizes which were raffled off during the game. Businesses such as Kendra Scott, Lululemon and Starbucks contributed to the cause.
Raising over $70,000 in the last decade, Dominican has been the top donor among the 7 schools participating in the Pink Game Fundraiser.
“My favorite part about this event is knowing I’m part of community full of women who are raising awareness for women,” said Mrs. Chatellier. “Everyone in that gym is connected to breast cancer in some way.”
However, the Pink Game wasn’t the only news-worthy happening this season. Mrs. Chatellier celebrated her 300th win in her coaching career on Sept. 6 in a match against Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Reaching her 300th win in her Dominican coaching career, Mrs. Jessica Chatellier proudly stands with the varsity volleyball team. Mrs. Ashlee Juhas (’04), assistant coach, was on the team of Mrs. Chatellier’s first win in 2003 and is part of her coaching staff today. Her favorite memory? “All 300 games,” said Mrs. Juhas.
Alongside Mrs. Chatellier throughout her victories has been Mrs. Ashlee Juhas (’04), assistant coach. In Mrs. Chatellier’s first Dominican win in 2003 – also against Sacred Heart – Mrs. Juhas was a senior on the team coached.
Dominican also celebrated senior Elise Cresson being named to the LHSAA All Academic Composite Team. Students receiving this honor must have at least 4.0 GPA for 6 semesters and have been an athlete for at least 3 years. She was honored at the Division I state final match on Nov. 10 at the Pontchartrain Center.
“I’m very honored to be named to the team,” said Cresson. “I’m very humbled that my coaches thought so highly of me that they nominated me.”
Cresson also appreciates the importance of breast cancer awareness. “The Pink Game is about so much more than volleyball,” said Cresson. “It’s about our entire school community coming together to give hope to those who are bravely fighting breast cancer.”