Lady Gators use quick start to sweep Dutchtown

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Kayla Young delivers a kill over Dutchtown’s Racheal Pickens and Brooke Bahlinger in the third game of the Lady Gators’ sweep Monday night.

ST. AMANT - St. Amant cruised to a 25-19, 25-13, 25-15 Division 4-I sweep of Dutchtown Monday night at SAHS’ gym.

“We did a good job,” St. Amant head coach Allison Didier Leake said. “It has been a while since we played well. I know the first match against Dutchtown, the girls really remembered that. They remembered how close it was and they were really focused and knew exactly what they had to do coming out today.”

The victory, along with an avenging 25-22, 25-20, 11-25, 24-26, 15-12 victory over Hahnville Wednesday night in Boutte gives St. Amant (16-16, 8-2) a second-place district finish.  Dutchtown (11-15, 6-4) fell to district champion Destrehan (12-19, 9-1) 25-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 13-15 to close out district play as the third place finisher.

“It is just real disappointing,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said Monday after the loss to St. Amant. “We overcame injuries and team chemistry early in the season and we fought our way back and got ourselves in a position to win out and share a district championship and for whatever reason, we just came out flat today.”

In Monday’s game, St. Amant was led by Victoria Ojea who had nine kills and one blocks. Laney Gautreau added 21 assists, nine digs, one kill and one ace, while Kayla Young provided seven kills and nine digs and Peyton Vincent had 12 digs and three aces.

“They executed everything they needed to do,” Leake said. It was a team effort. We played well and I would like to think it was all us but we took advantage of some of Dutchtown’s mishaps. I have definitely seen them play better than they did today.”

Dutchtown was led by Chelsea Magee with 15 digs, while Haley Bain added 13 assists, Haley Burns contributed four blocks and two aces and Rachael Pickens had four kills.

“I thought we were confident going in,” Ricks said.  We just didn’t control the ball well at all tonight and St. Amant did a great job of playing defense. They passed the ball extremely well and we didn’t. I think that was the tell tale of the match.”

Ojea blocked Pickens to open the third game before Magee’s kill knotted it up. Burns’ dink gave Dutchtown the lead before Magee and Burns’ attack errors put St. Amant ahead for good. Megan Poore provided two aces during a 7-0 run by the Lady Gators before Burns’ kill cut it to 8-3.

“Once we got down, we loss confidence which is something that is new for this group,” Ricks said. “We generally have fought back but we were just flat today. Emotionally, we were flat and we didn’t move our feet on defense.”

Consecutive kills by Young and Vivian Butler put St. Amant ahead 11-4 before Brooke Bahlinger and Young traded kills. Pickens’ kill and Caitlin O’Banion’s ace cut it to 12-7 before the Lady Gators used ad 6-0 run courtesy of two aces by Vincent and two kills from Ojea.

Pickens and Magee sandwiched kills around Ojea’s to cut it to 19-9 before Young’s kill made it 21-10.

Gautreau’s kill and ace put St. Amant ahead 23-12 before kills by Pickens and Bahlinger sandwiched Burns’ ace but Burn’s service error set up match point on Poore’s kill.

“We can play with a lot of good teams and I think they just started to find that out,” Leake said. “Hopefully, we are starting to peak at the right time and it is not too late for us. I told the girls, we have to take it one match at a time and we have to take care of business on our side. I am hoping after this, the girls know what we have to do and what we are capable of.”

Ojea led St. Amant with 16 kills, five digs, three aces and two blocks against Hahnville, while Gautreau added 24 assists and six digs, Young provided 12 digs, seven kills, five aces and two assists and Vincent had 16 digs.

Raven Scott led Hahnville with 17 kills, 21 assists, seven blocks and four aces and Jasmine Hill provided 14 digs.

Magee and Pickens each had eight kills against Destrehan, while Bain provided 21 assists and Justine Tureau had 14 digs.

Alexis Keller had 15 kills and 17 assists for the Lady Wildcats, while Robin Sill contributed 24 digs and six aces.

Both St. Amant and Dutchtown will participate in Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Spooktacular Tournament this weekend and await playoff pairings set to be released Tuesday.

“I think if we can win two out of last three matches we will be fine and we are capable of doing it,” Ricks said.

Dutchtown’s Brooke Bahlinger delivers a kill over St. Amant’s Elena Villar and Vivian Butler in the third game Monday night.