By Chad DeRousselle
Since our last report the volleyball team has been very busy and very challenged. On Tuesday, Sept. 16 we hosted a very improved Vinton team that gave us fits. It took 5 games for the decision (25-16, 19-25, 16-25, 25-13, 15-9). This being the second tiebreaker we won this season with more to follow. The next night we traveled to St Louis and the first game was the best we played up until then and our best performance against St Louis in many years. After that things went south (22-25, 11-25, 9-25).
The weekend put us on the road for a triple header in Leesville. We opened with Evangel Christian and found ourselves in a great matchup with our 3rd tiebreaker to overcome(25-20, 25-21, 16-25, 22-25, 17-15). Needless to say that was taxing on the girls both physically and emotionally. To add to our “HARD REIGN” schedule we had to immediately play Leesville. After struggling for 8 straight games with no quit the scoreboard frowned on us (18-25, 25-27, 19-25).
Only wanting to play the best so we could grow #6 5A came to town Tuesday Sept 23 and we took them to 4 games (25-23, 14-25, 22-25, 14-25). The next night we hosted Washington Marion and went through the motions (25-18, 25-13, 25-9).
For our final tournament of the season we competed in the Jennings Classic. We were undefeated in our pool and placed 2nd in the tournament behind Rayne based on wins and points. First match…Hamilton Christian (25-21, 25-13), second match… Crowley (25-11, 25-16).
Our final match was with 5 time 1A state champs ESA (Episcopal of Acadiana) who had just upset Sulphur High the match before. They were pumped and had momentum.
We opened the match 14-2 with all cylinders firing, showing some of our potential we we get it right. Then we decided to make a contest out of it and let them back in. We took the first only to start the second down 1-8, clawed back to 20-20 and ended up splitting the first two games (25-12, 20-25). So into our 4th tiebreaker situation for the season. Back and forth it went until we were looking into a 5-8 hole.
This group never seems to panic or worry about possible heart attacks in the stands. With the score 8-9 Jacquelyn Phillips came up to serve. She went 8 for 8, 2 aces, and made 3 digs against their pin hitters to give us the 15-9 come from behind win. Haleigh Lorenz during that run dug 3 straight hard hits in one volley from their backside hitter and on the last play finished the match with a kill from a Brenan Marcantel assist.
Darci Bonin wrecked havoc on their hitters getting a career match high, 7 blocks for a career total of 202 blocks. This was our most balanced effort with a 5 kill average for our main hitters, and a very solid defensive effort.
Tuesday, Sept. 30 we travel to Iowa to defend our #10 ranking and host Jennings on Wednesday, Oct. 1.