SHS volleyball

Sulphur’s Bridget Trahan, left, and Bailey Chaisson try to stop Dominican’s O’Neil Haddad at the net Thursday in Kenner during a Division I quarterfinal match.

KENNER — No. 8 Sulphur tried to rekindle the magic that it used to rally past Acadiana last week in the regional round.

But the Tors ran out of time and No. 1 Dominican won 25-16, 25-26, 25-20 in the Division I quarterfinals Thursday at the state volleyball tournament at the Pontchartrain Center.

Facing elimination and down by 11 early in the third set, Sulphur rallied with an 11-3 run to pull within 23-20 on a kill by Erika Whittington. Cara Murphy had a hand in two key blocks during the run, but Dominican (29-2) closed out the match with a 3-1 run.

“We played fearless no matter what the score was in the third set,” Sulphur head coach Bridget Coppels said. “At one point they said, ‘What do we have to lose?’ and played hard and aggressive.

“We almost had them at the end there. They fought to the end, and I am very proud of them for that. Dominican is a good team. Was that our best game we played all year? No, but that is the best team we have played all year.

“For what we went through and everything, I am so incredibly proud of my kids for being here and ending our season here.”

The loss ended one of the best seasons in program history. Sulphur (15-1) went undefeated in the regular season and won its first district championship since 2003. Coppels said she sees a bright future.

“It was an awesome year for Sulphur volleyball, and it was an awesome year for this senior class through so much adversity,” Coppels said. “Through the pandemic and two hurricanes, we are ending our season in the Pontchartrain Center.

“As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud of them. I think this is the new standard, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. When I took this job four years ago, I knew we had the potential, and I think this senior class left a huge legacy.”

Bridget Trahan led Sulphur with six kills, and Murphy finished with five. Abi Massey was credited with four kills and four digs, and Keelie Seaford ended the game with 15 assists.

“We were just aggressive in the beginning and hit the ball,” Coppels said. “We got down real big in the second set, and we really didn’t recover from that. The momentum got away from us, and volleyball is a game of momentum. We never could get it back.”