Parish volleyball teams ready to win new district

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Dutchtown will return Katie Cusey, who was a first-team all-district performer last season.

This season, volleyball will look just slightly different for the three Class 5A teams in Ascension Parish.

Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant will all be making the transition from District 4 to District 6. 

The new district will be almost identical to the last. One change will be the addition of Denham Springs. The Lady Yellow Jackets will join the Ascension trio, Live Oak and Walker. Denham Springs did make the playoffs last year.

The parish teams in this district will have the luxury of returning most of their best players from last season.

In 2021, all three local squads reached the postseason. Dutchtown made a third straight trip to the state tournament.

The Lady Griffins went 30-7 during the regular season and won the outright district championship for the first time since 2004. They went undefeated in league play for the first time in program history.

Though Dutchtown will return most of the players from last year’s team, it will be missing two of its most important pieces.

Southeastern signee Alexis Logarbo is gone. She was the district’s Player of the Year last season. The Griffins will also be without first-team all-district performer Taylor Heeb.

But Dutchtown will return both Kendall Davis and Cadie Kusy. Both players were first-team all-district selections in 2021. Another all-district performer returning will be Braelee Tennimon.

Head coach Patrick Ricks said that he also expects big things from Brennan Coe, Madison Sanchez, Ania Anderson, Makenzie Denson and Zoe Lacaze.

“The team is very versatile,” Ricks said. “We have a number of players that can play multiple positions.  We also have a core group that has a lot of varsity experience.”

One team that could be ready to take a big step forward this season will be East Ascension.

The Lady Spartans made a fantastic turnaround in 2021. In the prior season, East Ascension won just one match. A year later, the Lady Spartans won 20 contests and returned to the postseason.

Unfortunately for East Ascension, Dutchtown played spoiler in round one.

From last year’s team, the Lady Spartans lost Lexie Bourque and Ali Burt. Bourque was a first-team all-district selection.

However, East Ascension will bring back two first-team all-district performers in seniors Melinna Carrero and Katie Frank.

Also returning for the Lady Spartans will be juniors Corin Waguespack and Avery Wheat. Both were honorable-mention all-district in 2021.

For the first time in over a decade, St. Amant had to break in a new head coach last season. The Lady Gators were led by Chandra Ewen.

A relatively young and inexperienced Lady Gator squad struggled at times. They were eliminated by Ruston in the first round of the playoffs and finished with a losing record.

St. Amant is hoping that, that learning experience will help it moving forward. The Lady Gators return some key players from last year’s team.

They’ll be without Blake Brignac and Maggie Lander, but many other key contributors will return.

Leading the charge will be senior Kayla Robinson, who was last year’s district Defensive Player of the Year.

Also back will be three players who were named first-team all-district in seniors Ja’Lynn Davenport and Jessica Jones and junior Amaya Evans.