Volleyball heats up as playoffs approach

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant's Brooke deVeer makes a play at the net during a Lady Gator win over Destrehan.

With the postseason just up ahead, many teams in the parish are trying to build some momentum and establish themselves as the class of their respective districts.

Right now, St. Amant is the team that everyone is looking up to. The Lady Gators are ranked No. 2 in the state in this week's LHSAA volleyball power rankings. They bolster an impressive mark of 29-5 and a perfect 9-0 record in district play after an easy win over parish rival Dutchtown on Monday night.

St. Amant won in straight sets by scores of: 25-14, 25-8 and 25-5.

Last year's All-Metro MVP Toni Rodriguez had 11 kills, nine aces, five digs and three blocks. Brooke deVeer matched the 11 kills, and Kelly Young tacked on a game-high 21 assists.

As for No. 17 Dutchtown, Brooke Wells and Lauren Mills were neck-and-neck for the team lead in kills with five and four respectively. Ty Brown accounted for 11 assists.

The tough loss drops the Lady Griffins to 17-16 overall and just 4-5 within the district.

Dutchtown and St. Amant's rival East Ascension has also looked impressive thus far.

In this week's power rankings, the Lady Spartans are ranked No. 7 and after a 3-1 win over No. 9 Destrehan Monday night, they upped their record to a stout 33-6 overall and 9-2 in the district tilt.

Destrehan gave a tremendous effort as they lost two hotly-contested sets to start the match by scores of 25-19 and 25-20. They stole the third set 25-22 but lost the fourth set 25-22--giving East Ascension their ninth district win.

The Lady Spartans got three great all-around efforts from Carmisha Payton, Alecia Gutierrez and Tori Vincek.

Payton had eight kills and 10 digs. Gutierrez had 11 kills, four digs and 16 assists, and Vincek led the team with 14 kills and added nine assists and four blocks.

Two other teams in the parish that lost Monday night but have to still like their chances heading into the postseason are Ascension Christian and Ascension Catholic.

Ascension Christian is ranked No. 8 in this week's 1A power rankings. They lost a five-set thriller to No. 12 Catholic of Pointe Coupee Monday night, but they're still a solid 15-8 overall with an unblemished 10-0 mark in district play.

The Lady Lions lost the first set 25-16 but fought back by winning the next two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-20. However, the Lady Hornets won the fourth set 25-21 and then notched the deciding fifth set 15-8.

In the loss to Catholic, Reyna Jones, Sidney Sehon and Aleah Sanchez all had a game-high nine kills. Jones and Sanchez led the game in digs with 16 and 15 respectively, and Victoria Shexnayder had a game-high 18 assists.

As for Ascension Catholic, they are ranked No. 7 in this week's 1A power rankings.

They fell to fourth-ranked St. John in straight sets Monday night. The loss dropped them to 19-17 overall and 7-2 within the district.

Jeanne Zeringue had seven kills and 12 digs while Chelsea Roudeze added five kills and four blocks. Michayla Spano produced a game-high 12 assists.

With those games out of the way, the girls are ready to get back in action this week to attempt to win districts and boost playoff seeding.

For Thursday, Ascension Christian will host Family Christian at 5 p.m., and East Ascension will host Terrebonne at 4:30 Friday evening. Dutchtown will host a double-header Saturday morning. First, they'll clash with Denham Springs at 8 a.m., and they'll meet Archbishop Hannan at 9:30.