Lady Griffins’ quick starts fades at Episcopal

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Brooke Bahlinger drops a kill over Episcopal’s Ericka Brundage and Becca Squyres in the Lady Griffins’ 3-1 defeat Tuesday night.

BATON ROUGE - Dutchtown rallied to win the first game but dropped the next three to Episcopal falling 25-19, 14-25, 9-25, 21-25 Tuesday night at Annslee Phillips Gymnasium.

The Lady Griffins cut Episcopal’s lead to 20-19 in the fourth game before the Lady Knights scored four the next six points to take the match.

“We just went flat,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said. “I don’t know what happened. They just lost their energy. They put so much in to winning that first game, that I think they just let down and couldn’t get themselves out of it.”

Dutchtown (2-4) defeated Episcopal 3-2 last season.

“They are kind of our measuring stick,” Ricks said. “I tell them this team has got state championships and they are always in the playoffs. We need to see where we are by traveling and going play against teams like this. They are well coached and all of their kids play club. We came in here and in my opinion found out we can play against quality teams. We just have to finish.”

Episcopal jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first game behind Shelby Moore’s kill, Kelly Hansen’s kill and Moore and Taylor Griffin’s block of Racheal Pickens. Dutchtown then went on an 11-5 run to take the lead 12-11 on Hansen’s attack error.

“I think nerves set in,” Episcopal head coach Beverly Russell said. “Yesterday was our first match after the storm. We hadn’t practiced in two weeks so we were sluggish. It was just jitters in the first game and then we kind of got our act together and did a real good job at the end. We have alot of strength in heighth for blocking and that is part of the game that you either have or don’t. We just haven’t had enough time to work on tantem blocking.”

Pickens’ ace preceded a series of errors before Haley Burns’ kill and and two aces by Chelsea Magee. 

“The key was our serving,” Ricks said. “We served really well in that first game after the time out. We came out and controlled the ball and were able to get on a run and it didn’t let down. Everybody is going to be taller than us. We don’t have any giants. We have to be resolved to play as hard as we can, play smart and move those middles around and not hit directly at them. That was our weakness today. We kept hitting towards their blockers instead of being smart and picking a spot.”

Moore and Burns traded kills the later giving Dutchtown the lead for good. Brook Bahlinger’s underhand save put the Lady Griffins ahead 18-15 after Ericka Brundage’s dink. Justine Tureau’s ace and Magee’s kill made it 21-16 before Haley Bain’s ace and Moore’s return error set up game point on Moore’s attack error.

Moore’s kill opened the second game before Episcopal went on a 14-3 run. Griffin’s dink, Taylor Mims ace, Moore’s block of Pickens and Hansen’s kill made it 8-1 before Burns’ kill. Consecutive kills by Moore preceded Griffin’s ace and Brundage’s kill. Burns’ ace and Danielle Lightfoot’s kill cut it to 15-6 before Sara Portwood’s ace completed a 4-0 Lady Knight run. Magee and Picken’s kills cut it to 21-10 before a series of errors and kills by Griffin and Hansen set up game point on Moore’s.

Episcopal went ahead 7-0 in the third game courtesy of two aces by Mims before Burns’ kill cut it to 8-2. Moore’s ace preceded Becca Squyres kill before Epicopal used a 9-0 run courtesy of Burndage’s block and two kills. Lightfoot’s dink, Pickens block of Brundage, Tureau’s ace and Magee’s kill cut it to 23-9 before Tureau’s service error set up game point on Picken’s attack error.

Moore’s kill opened the final game before Pickens blocked Squyres to tie it up 2-2. Pickens’ two aces gave Dutchtown the lead 5-4 before Magee’s attack error put Episcopal up for good. Kelly Calandro’s three aces made it 14-8 before Tureau’s kill cut it to 16-14 after a series of errors.

Moore and Hansen’s kills preceded Lightfoot and Bahlinger’s before Griffin’s made it 20-17. Lightfoot’s attack error gave Episcopal a 22-19 lead and Brundage’s block of Pickens and Calandro’s ace set up match point on Moore’s kill.

“It was huge,” Ricks said of the attack error. “We just couldn’t get through. We needed to control the ball a little bit better and get a kill. That is our thing. When we have an opportunity to terminate a point, which we did, you have to terminate and we just kind of let them hang around and they eventually won the point.”

Moore finished with 13 kills and six assists, while Mims had 24 assists and three kills and Brundage added seven kills and four blocks.

Magee had seven kills for Dutchtown and Bain had 18 assists.

Dutchtown was swept by the Dunham School 19-25, 17-25, 26-28 Wednesday night.

Magee had eight kills, while Bain had 18 assists, Burns contributed six kills, Bahlinger added five kills, Shamarea Jones had 14 digs and Tureau had 12 digs.

Caroline McKey had a match-high 13 kills to go with 15 digs while Treashur Pearah added five kills and three blocks, Ashley Deason contributed three kills and 15 assists and Holly Tupper had 14 digs.