Dutchtown finishes strong to sweep Lady Spartans

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Brooke Bahlinger drops a dink over East Ascension’s Jade St. Pierre and Whitney Delmore during the first game of the Lady Griffins’ sweep to open district play Monday night.

GEISMAR - Dutchtown fought off East Ascension in the first game and finished strong to sweep the Lady Spartans 28-26, 25-16, 25-17 in the District 5-5A opener for both teams Monday night.

“The first game was huge,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said. “We had a setter and one of our best hitters not starting because they missed practice so the rest of the team did a fantastic job of picking us up and they refused to lose that first game and I think that set the tone for the whole night.

“We did the things that we have been doing well. We passed extremely well and played very good defense for the first time in a while. We just stayed with it and didn’t make too many unforced errors.”

Dutchtown (4-6, 2-0) went on to defeat East St. John 26-24, 22-25, 25-13, 25-21 Wednesday to stay undefeated in district play. East Ascension (0-1) fell to 5-3 overall.

“We fought,” East Ascension head coach Lacey Barbera said. “We did awesome until this last game when our star player got hurt and then it went downhill. That is pretty much basically it. They did great. They hit well. They blocked well. They did everything right and then they fell apart as soon as Jyra (Churchill) got hurt.”

“We are thin at the varsity level, so we had to dig deep on the bench. I was kind of surprised. I thought there would be more fans on each side.  I am proud of them. I wish they could have hung in there a little longer.”

Haley Bain paced Dutchtown with 17 assists, while Brooke Bahlinger provided six kills and Chelsea Magee added five. Haley Burns added four kills, three aces and seven digs and Racheal Pickens  had four kills and two blocks. Justine Tureau led the Lady Griffins with 12 digs, while Shamarea Jones added eight and Caitlin O’Banion provided three aces.

Whitney Delmore led East Ascension with eight kills and four blocks. Jade St. Pierre added four kills and two digs and Tanisha Thomas provided one kill, one ace and four digs.

“We kind of had a rough time the past couple of weeks,” Ricks said. “The second part of our record kicks in now and it is kind of like a new season. If you don’t do well in district, you don’t make it to the playoffs. It is really important for us to do well.

“It is definitely a rivalry. I think it is a friendly rivalry. They see each other around and it is kind of important for them to have those bragging rights.”

Dutchtown jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first game on Danielle Lightfoot’s dink after Ryan Hamilton’s ace and kills by Burns and Bahlinger. Delmore’s block of Pickens got the Lady Spartans on the board before Churchill’s dink. Thomas’ kill cut it to 11-6 after Burns’ ace before Pickens and St. Pierre traded aces to make it 13-10.

Delmore’s dink and kill cut it to 14-13 before Burns and Bahlinger’s kill. Kristen Watts’ ace knotted it up 16-16 before Bain’s dink made it 20-17 after Burns’ ace. Delmore’s kill knotted it up 24-24 after Magee and Lightfoot blocked Kandis Carter followed by kills from Thomas, Magee and St. Pierre. Caitlin Roddy’s kill put East Ascension ahead 26-25 but Bahlinger’s dink set up game point on Delmore’s attack error after Bain’s dink.

Burns’ kill put Dutchtown ahead 4-2 in the second game before Thomas’ tied it. The Lady Griffins used a 5-0 run courtesy of Lightfoot and Magee’s kills before St. Pierre’s kill and Delmore’s dink cut it to 11-8. Dutchtown took advantage of 7-1 run finished by Magee’s ace and Bahlinger’s kill to make it 18-10.

Tureau’s consecutive aces made it 21-12 after Thomas blocked Burns. O’Banion’s consecutive aces set up game point on Roddy’s service error after Churchill’s ace.

East Ascension went ahead 2-1 in the third game on Delmore’s dink. O’Banion’s consecutive aces put Dutchtown ahead 6-4 after Watts’ ace and Bahlinger’s kill. Churchill’s ace gave the Lady Spartans a 9-7 lead before Dutchtown used a 6-0 run sparked by Bain’s dink featuring two aces and kills from Bahlinger.

Roddy’s consecutive aces cut it to 14-12 before the Lady Griffins used a 6-0 run courtesy of two Lightfoot aces. Pickens’ kill made it 21-15 after she blocked Delmore and Bahlinger’s kill set up match point on Tureau’s ace following Delmore’s block and kill.

Bain had 21 assists in the Lady Griffins victory over East St. John, while Pickens provided 10 kills, Burns added six kills and four aces, Magee had 18 digs and Jones nine.

Mariah Wilder led the Lady Wildcats with eight kills and three blocks, while Jasmine Mitchell provided five kills and three aces and Chantell Bush contributed five kills, two aces and two blocks.