Lady Gators finish strong in sweep of ACHS

Peter Silas Pasqua
St.?Amant’s Victoria Ojea delivers a kill over Ascension Catholic’s Arlaina Ferchaud and Alisa Richard in the Lady Gators sweep Wednesday evening. Ojea had a match-high 10 kills for St. Amant.

ST. AMANT - Following two earlier losses, St. Amant finished off Ascension Catholic 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 Wednesday night at St. Amant’s Gym a day removed from besting University Lab in five games.

St. Amant (2-2) scored the match’s final three points to produce the sweep after Ascension Catholic came within one point shy of game point.

“Without the experience that we have, we don’t finish games like that,” St. Amant head coach Allison Didier Leake said. “They are more comfortable being aggressive and not holding anything back at the end of the game. I think this year, we are relying more on every single person that sets foot on the court to contribute. That is a big difference from this year and last year. They have been playing together in club ball and that makes a difference in games like this.

“We have had problems starting and ending games, which isn’t a good trait, but I think in time, these are things that we can fix because a lot of these things are happening because we are making mistakes. Hitting errors and serving errors are things that can be corrected.”

Ascension Catholic (1-3) went ahead 23-22 on Emily Rivet’s attack error, but Chelsea Zeringue and Katherine Capone’s attack errors set up match point on Megan Poore’s kill.

“They are the best team we have played since we started,” Ascension Catholic head coach Al Olive said. “I am proud of them. For us to push a 5A team is only going to help us. We just have to go from here.”

The Lady Bulldogs swept St. Amant last season.

Laney Gautreau had a match-high 30 assists to go with 10 digs, two kills and one ace. Victoria Ojea also had a match-high 10 kills and three digs, one ace and one block, while Poore added nine kills, eight digs and four aces and Kayla Young had 9 kills and 16 digs.

“Laney has been doing a great job,” Leake said. “She has taken the role one step at a time and I saw some things tonight that showed me she is really coming around as a setter. It has taken us a while for our hitters to look like this but I still think there is room for them to grow.”

St. Amant jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first game courtesy of two kills and a dink by Ojea, an ace from Peyton Vincent and kills from Rivet and Poore. Vincent’s return error got Ascension Catholic on the board and following a series of errors, Ojea’s kill made it 13-3 after Arlaina Ferchaud’s dink.

“The past few matches that we have been playing, we have actually started out every single game very slow,” Leake said. “We get behind by four or five points and it is hard for us to come back, so it was so important for us to see (a strong start.)”

Ascension Catholic cut it to 14-7 on Ferchaud’s ace following Young’s kill, Ferchaurd’s block and Capone’s dink. Poore’s consecutive kills made it 18-9 before Young sandwiched a kill and dink around Gautreau’s kill to make it 22-12.

Ferchaud’s attack error and Ojea’s kill set up game point on Young’s kill after Young’s attack error and Zeringue’s kill.

“It was hard (to come from behind), but they had the guts to go ahead and work at it,” Olive said. “That is something we are still trying to instill in them a killer instinct. They will make a run and just stop. They struggle to get back into it and then hit a bump.”

Poore’s kill made it 3-1 to start the second game that saw six ties before Ferchaud’s dink. Ascension Catholic went ahead on a St. Amant error before Young’s kill. Zeringue and Rivet traded kills to even the score 6-6. Young’s return error gave the Lady Bulldogs a 9-7 lead before consecutive kills by Ojea and Poore knotted it up. St. Amant went ahead for good on Capone’s attack error and before Ojea and Victoria Longnecker traded kills.

St. Amant built a 16-10 lead behind Poore’s aces and Gautreau’s dink, before Zeringue and Ferchaud blocked Emma Key to cut it to 18-14 after Zeringue’s dink. Young’s ace made it 21-15 before Poore’s kill and Vincent’s ace set up game point on two Capone attack errors.

Ascension Catholic went ahead 3-0 in the third game that saw 10 ties behind Ashlyn Grisaffe’s ace and Alisa Richard’s kill. Rivet’s kill got the Lady Gators on the board before Ferchaud’s kill made it 5-2. Ojea’s kill and ace combined with Young’s kill knotted it up 5-5. A series of errors preceded Gautreau’s ace to give St. Amant an 8-7 lead. Grisaffe’s dink and Ferchaud’s ace tied it 9-9. Key and Capone traded kills before Ojea blocked Capone and Grisaffe’s kill knotted it 12-12.

Capone blocked Ojea before Longnecker and Richard’s kills gave Ascension Catholic a 15-13 lead. After Ferchaud and Richard blocked Ojea, St. Amant went on a 7-0 run fueled by Young’s three kills, Poore’s two aces and dink and Ojea’s kill. Ascension Catholic cut it to 21-20 behind Richard’s kill and ace before Ferchaud’s kill and Grisaffe’s dink tied it 22-22.

St. Amant defeated University Lab Tuesday in five games, 22-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 15-10.

“We gave a lot of points away,” Leake said. “We had a lot of mistakes and a lot of errors. I think it just takes a little while after so much time off. We are learning and if we can learn from every game, we will get better every game.”

Gautreau had 36 assists, 13 digs, two kills and one ace, while Young had 14 kills and one ace, Ojea contributed 13 kills, seven digs and one block and Poore had 11 kills, 14, digs and two aces.

Caroline Hubbard led University with 10 kills, seven digs, two aces and seven assists.