MORGAN CITY — The Central Catholic volleyball team may not have played a game in more than a week, but don’t think the team is relaxing.
Instead, the squad, the No. 3 seed in the Division 5 playoffs who received a first-round bye, has gone through conditioning for what may lie ahead if the squad is fortunate to make a return trip to the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
“We used this whole week to pretty much get in better shape and get ready for those tough five-game sets that we’re probably going to face if we happen to make it to the Pontchartrain Center,” Central Catholic coach Kindra Halverson said.
Among their preps for that opportunity, which the squad can cease if they defeat No. 19 seed Christian Life at 6 p.m. today in Morgan City, have been simulating the Pontchartrain Center atmosphere by dividing their playing court with a curtain and practicing serving on a shorter serving zone and areas to pursue balls like they will face if they make it to Kenner.
They also have worked on adapting to the noise factor (there are multiple games going on at the same time at the state tournament).
Halverson has practiced with the school’s junior high boys’ basketball team using the other end of the court with instructions for the youngsters to be loud.
As for today’s opponent, Central Catholic will face a Christian Life (11-10) squad that upset No. 14 Ecole Classique in first-round action Thursday, 3-1 (25-14, 14-25, 25-20, 25-17).
“They’re scrappy and they get a lot of balls up so we’re looking to have to stay on our toes and be ready for anything to come back over the net,” Halverson said. “So that’s our game plan: try to play scrappy defense along with them and hopefully serve aggressive and throw them out of their serve receive.”
While Central Catholic hasn’t played since Oct. 27, Halverson said she isn’t worried about any type of a letdown or her squad being rusty.
“I think the girls are going to come out on fire. … The seniors are going to want to show up and have their last game (at home) be a memorable one,” Halverson said. “So I think they’re just ready. It’s almost making them more hungry to play since we’re having such a long break, but we’ve been scrimmaging in practice so that’s simulating game (experience). It’s been really competitive, so I think their spirits are high and they’re ready to just get started.”
The Central Catholic coach said for her squad to earn a victory tonight, they would have to stay focused, work hard and implement the little things the squad had worked on in practice.
The winner of tonight’s game will face St. Martin’s Episcopal, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22) victory against Archbishop Hannan on Saturday.
Admission to tonight’s game is $7. Only the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s coaching card will be accepted in lieu of admission.
The game also will be broadcast on KBZE 105.9 FM with pregame beginning at 5:45 p.m.