ACHS looking to return to state tournament

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Senior Emmie Lambert returns for Ascension Catholic. She was the district’s Defensive MVP last season.

Last season, Ascension Catholic brought home a district championship and then came one victory away from the state tournament.

With the Lady Bulldogs bringing back last year’s district Offensive MVP as well as the league’s reigning Defensive MVP, they’re looking to get over the hump in 2022 and compete for a state championship.

Last season, Ascension Catholic faced a very tough schedule. It prepared them well for district play.

In league competition, the Lady Bulldogs went undefeated.

Ascension Catholic has now won 12 straight district games. The Lady Bulldogs have not lost a league contest since they fell to St. John on Sept. 22 of 2020.

In the last four seasons, Ascension Catholic is an amazing 29-1 in district matches.

The Lady Bulldogs went on to beat Houma Christian in the first round of the playoffs, before losing a four-set contest against Highland Baptist in round two.

That loss prevented Ascension Catholic from reaching the state tournament for a third straight season.

The Lady Bulldogs are looking to start a new streak in 2022, and they’ve got the players to do it.

Ascension Catholic will return senior middle-hitter Katie Brooks, who was the district’s Offensive MVP last season. The Lady Bulldogs also bring back senior defensive specialist and libero Emmie Lambert, who was the district’s Defensive MVP in 2021.

Other returning starters for Ascension Catholic will be juniors Allie Griffin and Karlie Chaney. Both were first-team all-district selections last season.

Also, the Lady Bulldogs bring back freshman middle-hitter Ava Landry and sophomore defensive specialist Ava Bright. Bright was second-team all-district last season.

There wasn’t much attrition to Ascension Catholic’s roster over the offseason. The Lady Bulldogs will only be without two seniors from last year—Ella Lemann and Madisyn Cassard.

Head coach Janelle Leonard is excited about some of the Lady Bulldogs’ younger players. She thinks they could step up and make a big impact this season.

Some of those players include freshmen Georgia Vega and Katie Templet and sophomores Katie Marroy (all-district performer in 2021), Isabella Troxclair and Addison Wilkinson.

“Although we are young, I have a lot to work with. I feel that our team chemistry is very strong,” Leonard said. “We have to get better with fundamentals of the game, and our inexperience will sometimes show, but this group has a very strong work ethic and will do what is necessary to get better every day.”

Leonard is also very confident in her four seniors. They are Brooks, Lambert, Makayla McKinney and Alyse Ourso.

There are still some questions that need answering as far as the Lady Bulldogs’ starting lineup is concerned, but Coach Leonard said that things will work themselves out once the season begins.

“I am still evaluating players to figure out who will be my outside hitters.  From what I have seen this summer, they could be interchangeable,” Leonard said. “They all have different qualities that could help us win games, depending on the team we are playing.”

The Lady Bulldogs will move from District 3 to District 6 this season.

This new district will contain Ascension Catholic, Ascension Christian, White Castle, Riverside Academy and West St. John.

“I am excited about this season with this group, and I can't wait to see how we progress throughout the season,” Leonard said.