St. Amant rallies to escape Lady Griffins’ claws

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Rachael Pickens blocks St. Amant’s Victoria Ojea’s kill attempt in the second game of the Lady Gators’ 3-2 District 5-I victory Wednesday night.

GEISMAR - St. Amant rallied from a 2-0 deficit, forcing the fourth game into extended play after Dutchtown served match point, to win a battle of District 5-I unbeatens  23-25, 17-25, 25-15, 28-26, 15-13 Wednesday night during a Volleyball for the Cure match at DTHS’s gym.

“We probably have a little more experience on our side,” St. Amant head coach Allison Didier Leake said. “I think that is one of the big reasons we were able to come back in the fourth game.”

“I am little disappointed on how we are starting games. The girls were not focused on what they were here to do. Dutchtown did a great job. They took advantage of every weakness that we had today. How we pulled this game out, I do not know. From our passing to our setting to our hitting. Everything could have been improved. We have a lot to work on.”

Dutchtown pulled away from St. Amant in the second game to take a 2-0 lead before dropping the next three games.

“We came out and passed the ball extremely well,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said.  “I told them they were not going to roll over and die because I know St. Amant. I know they are a well-coached team and I know the girls have a lot of pride.

“We just stopped passing the ball and playing defense. They started exploiting the middle of our defense and we just didn’t make adjustments very well. We didn’t follow through.”

Victoria Ojea led St. Amant with 15 kills, two blocks and five digs, while Laney Gautreau added 22 digs, 21 assists, three kills and two aces and Peyton Vincent provided 25 digs and one ace.

Chelsea Magee led Dutchtown with 12 kills and 28 digs, while Haley Bain had 28 assists, Haley Burns contributed nine kills and six blocks and Justine Tureau provided 21 digs.

St. Amant (7-10, 4-0) went ahead 4-1 in the first game on Ojea’s kill before Rachael Pickens’ kill cut it to 4-3. After a series of errors Dutchtown (8-9, 3-1) used a 7-0 run courtesy of Brooke Bahlinger’s consecutive kills, Tureau’s consecutive aces and Burns’ block of Vivian Butler to take a 12-8 lead.

The Lady Griffins used another 6-0 run courtesy of kills from Burns, Pickens and Magee to make it 21-11 before St. Amant followed with an 8-1 run fueled by Ojea’s consecutive kills.

Pickens’ consecutive kills set up game point which didn’t come till Gautreau’s service error after Megan Poore’s kill and an ace.

“We have big games at St. Amant,” Leake said. “They go crazy and it is loud so I don’t think that had anything to do with our play tonight. We usually get turned on by a wild crowd.”

Magee and Kayla Young traded kills to open the second game before Pickens blocked Ojea. St. Amant went ahead 4-3 on Ojea’s kill and Butler’s block of Pickens before Bahlinger’s kill put Dutchtown ahead for good, 5-4. Pickens blocked Poore to make it 8-4 before a series of errors helped the Lady Griffins to a 7-0 run.

Magee’s consecutive kills made it 20-9 before an error set up game point on Gautreau’s service error only after Poore’s kill, consecutive aces by Gautreau and Butler’s block of Bahlinger.

Burns’ kill put Dutchtown ahead 3-2 in the third game. Butler’s dink gave St. Amant the lead for good 6-5 during a 6-0 run that saw consecutive kills by Poore. Young’s kill made it 15-7 before Burns sandwiched kills around Butler’s block of Shamarea Jones to cut it to 16-11.

Young’s ace and Ojea’s dink set up game point on Bain’s service error after consecutive aces.

Dutchtown took advantage of St. Amant errors to go ahead 6-1 early in the third game before Young sandwiched aces around Ojea’s dink to cut it to 9-7. Burns’ kill made it 15-11 before Magee and Pickens’ kills put Dutchtown ahead 18-13. Ojea’s consecutive aces preceded Jones and Poore’s kill before Ojea’s cut it to 20-17.

Bahlinger’s consecutive kills made it 23-17 and Burns’ set up match point 24-19 before St. Amant went on a 5-0 run courtesy of Dutchtown errors to tie it. Ojea’s consecutive kills set up game point 26-25 before Pickens and Magee’s attack errors sent the match into a decisive game.

“I didn’t think anyone would be the favorite coming in,” Ricks said. “I knew it would be a good match and the team that executed the best would win and they were that team tonight.”

St. Amant took an early 6-2 on Ojea’s consecutive aces before Jones’ kill cut it to 9-7 after Burns blocked Young. Consecutive kills from Burns and Magee gave Dutchtown an 11-10 lead before Young’s ace put St. Amant up for good. Pickens and Magee blocked Ojea out of bounds to set up match point on Magee’s attack error.

The game served as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.

“It is a good cause,” Ricks said. “At the coaches clinic this summer they talked about dedicating some matches in the month of October. I have a very good friend who has breast cancer. I thought it would enhance our match. It just shows that this community has a giving heart.”

St.?Amant’s Kayla Young digs a shot as Chelcie Daigle provides back up in the third game of the Lady Gators 3-2 victory over Dutchtown Wednesday night.