Lumberjills return experience from a year ago
The 2014 Patterson High School volleyball team includes, seated from left, Hailey Sehon, Nyria Robinson, Tye Williams, Jazmin Evans, Jasmine Roberson, Makayla Ruiz and Gaylen Grogan. Kneeling, from left, are Lacy Declouet, Morgan Jones, Tamia Washington, Nia Broussard, Erykah Singleton,
Kiria Grady, Maya Madise and Destiny Dugar. Standing, from left, are Tapanga Haven, Madison Paul, Ashlynn Rock, Desiree Jones, Casie Boudreaux, Arian Grogan, Kaitlynn Spradling, Nyla Grady, Madison Goolsby, Emmeli Smith, Shea
Fontenot and Coach Chasity Fontenot. Not pictured are Coach Adrian Haven, Irinesha Kinchen, Brianna Gray and Celeste Stevenson. (Submitted Photo/Courtesy of Wade Gussman Photography)
The Patterson Lumberjills volleyball team will be entering their third season under head coach Chasity Fontenot armed with many returning players from a year ago.
“I can promise you we’re going to be more than a wildcard in most people’s eyes,” Fontenot said Friday, firing back at a comment from Berwick volleyball coach Heather Blanchard in her remarks
about the district in the Berwick volleyball preview last week in which she described the Lumberjills and Donaldsonville as such.
Fontenot’s team consists of four seniors, nine juniors, six sophomores and nine freshmen.
“I got four seniors,” Fontenot said. “All of them (are) going to see playing time. My junior class is going to be big. They’ve been playing since they were freshmen, starting for me.”
Fontenot also said her sophomore class will help out this season.
When she first began coaching in 2012, Fontenot said that her team didn’t have the “bump, set, spike kind of mentality.”
“We just got it over the net,” she said.
Now, she said her squad, which is coming off a 9-15 season and a fifth-place finish in district a year ago, is more refined.
“That’s why my juniors, I think are my strongest players because they’ve been with me three years, and they know the mechanics now,” Fontenot said.
She agreed that because of their experience, that junior class is almost like having a second set of seniors.
Seniors Jazmin Evans, Nyria Robinson and Tye Williams; juniors Gaylen Grogan and Nyla Grady and sophomores Tamia Washington and Makayla Ruiz all will see action for the Lumberjills this
While Evans served as the team’s setter in 2013, Fontenot said she hopes that the senior can play libero for the Lumberjills this season.
Robinson will play in the back row as well, while Grady, who Fontenot said is “big in the front row,” was moved to back row to utilize her strengths.
Williams also will play on the Lumberjills’ back row.
Nia Broussard will serve as this year’s setter, while juniors Arian Grogan and Gaylen Grogan will serve as the team’s middle hitters.
Washington and Ruiz both will be outside hitters for the 'Jills this season.
Others who will see time on the court for the Lumberjills this season are junior Hailey Sehon and sophomore Erykah Singleton.
Patterson’s nondistrict schedule includes tournaments at Morgan City and New Iberia.
Patterson will compete in Division 3, District 6 with E.D. White, Lutcher, Morgan City, Berwick and Donaldsonville.
A year ago, E.D. White was the Division 3 state runner up, while Lutcher was a Division 3 semifinalist. Both Morgan City and Berwick also advanced to the second round of the Division 3 playoffs.
“Our district is really tough,” Fontenot said. “It really is. We got E.D. White and Lutcher and Morgan City. I believe we’re on the same level as Morgan City and Berwick, for sure. We can beat them on any day. We beat Morgan City last year in the jamboree, so anybody can be beaten on any given day.”
Patterson has scrimmaged South Terrebonne and Thibodaux during the preseason and will participate in the Morgan City High School Volleyball Jamboree Thursday.
The Lumberjills will open their season Tuesday at Franklin.