Lady Lions’ confidence expanding in 2009

Peter Silas Pasqua
Ascension Christian’s Sophie Schexnayder returns after earning all-district last season helping the Lady Lions to a 2-0 district mark and 7-18 overall.

Ascension Christian enjoyed a breakthrough season in its first year of existence last year winning the District 5-V title and advancing to the state playoffs. But a move into a new district this year will make things a lot more difficult for the Lady Lions.

“We have come a long way this year compared to last year,” Ascension Christian head coach Lisa Pellegrin said. They have really handled themselves well and right now we are just fine tuning. We still have a young team and are still learning positions.

 “I think we have better team spirit this year as far as cohesiveness and trust. That is something we have really strived for. We still have a long way to go but we have improved and I see great things in the future.”

Ascension Christian finished with an overall record of 7-18 and a district mark of 2-0 losing to state champion Northlake Christian in the first round.

The Lady Lions return five players that earned all-district honors last season led by MVP?Megan Pellegrin. Pellegrin, a senior, recorded 37 aces, 55 assists, 21 blocks, 38 kills and 51 digs last season.

Also returning are first-team selections in senior Krystal Braud and sophomores Sophie Schexnayder and Rhegan Jones while sophomore Chrissy Swanson earned honorable mention.

Others expected to contribute include senior Britney Braud, juniors Tori Freeman and Melanie Boeckl and freshmen Deanna Young.

“I am happy with my three seniors,” Pellegrin said. “I expect them to really take charge and lead this team. Last year, we were at the bottom of the stairs even though we were district champs. We are planning on raising the level of our performance.”

After only playing two district games a year ago, the Lady Lions move into a district with seven teams this year including Hosanna, Louisiana School for the Deaf, Southern Lab, East Iberville, Family Christian and Bethany Christian.

“This is a big change for us,” Pellegrin said. “We are starting our district games Sept. 14 while most don’t start till October. District is right around the corner so that is why we are experimenting now. We don’t have much time before it starts.”

The Lady Lions will also face Runnels, Bethel Christian, Christian Life, St. Thomas Aquinas and East Ascension while participating in the Southeastern?University, Morgan City and Lutcher tournaments.

“We are focusing on critiquing our mistakes and striving to get better,” Pellegrin said. “Our goal is to just take district as it comes and go with it. As long as we continue to work hard, we should do well.”

Ascension Christian was swept by Runnels to open the season Monday 25-12, 25-16, 25-21. Schexnayder had four assists and three aces while Pellegrin provided three aces, two kills and three assists and Braud had three aces and two kills.