SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Iowa and Westlake High School are looking to make history in Kenner on Thursday as the pair of schools get set to play in the quarterfinal round of the LHSAA Volleyball State Tournament.
Westlake making it to the quarterfinals has become common practice. The Lady Rams have been in this spot four of the last five years and are currently on a three-year run.
“Since my sophomore year, we’ve been in the quarterfinal round. So, we know what it’s like and how loud it is in the Pontchartrain Center," admitted Westlake senior Keonda Johnson. "Plus we go there every year for a tournament. We should be pretty comfortable and confident. And we’ve been watching a lot of film.”
Westlake is a veteran group with four starters back from a team that nearly reached the semifinals a year ago. The Lady Rams have never made it past the quarters.
“This year we have six seniors starting so we have the experience," Westlake senior Riley Rhodes said. "We just have to take that and run with it.”
Westlake is once again a top-five seed in the tournament and will face sixth-seeded Lutcher, Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
As for the Iowa Yellow Jackets, this year is the school’s first trip to the quarterfinals. The Yellow Jackets have been on a tear recently with 21 straight wins. That winning streak dates back to September 21.
“It feels really good. We’ve worked so hard to make it this far," said Iowa senior Kylie Browne. "It’s a really big accomplishment.”
Perennial power Ursuline Academy awaits Iowa in Kenner. The No. 4 seed is used to this stage as the program has won two state titles since 2009 and hasn’t missed out on the state tournament since then. The teams take the court on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
“Honestly, everything we’ve been doing recently has benefited us toward this game,” said Iowa senior Bailey Anderson. "And just being confident in what we know we can do.”
Fifth-seeded Iowa is confident entering the big stage to make a run of its own and extend that winning streak
“We’re just really proud of ourselves because it doesn’t just start during season,” said Iowa senior Jordan Hebert. "It starts in the summers and the years before that.”