Dutchtown defeats St. Amant to remain undefeated in district

Kyle Riviere
Lauren Launey and Dutchtown beat St. Amant on Thursday night for the first time in at least a decade. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Back on Sept. 21, East Ascension beat St. Amant for the first time in at least 10 years and handed the Lady Gators their first district loss in six years.

A week later, it was time for Dutchtown to finally get over the St. Amant hump.

The Lady Griffins fought off a late rally from the young and battered Lady Gators to close out a 3-1 victory. Like East Ascension, it was their first win over St. Amant in at least a decade.

"It's nice to beat them. They're a quality program,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said. “I know they had some injuries tonight, but they still fought and showed their Gator pride. It was just nice for our girls to finally come out and get a win against them."

The Lady Gators came into the season with widespread youth and inexperience after the graduation of starters like Maggie Duplechein and Brianne Babin and the departure of Taylor Tidwell—who was last year’s district MVP.

This season, they’ve featured many talented underclassmen like Gracie Duplechein, but they’ve also dealt with numerous injuries along the way.

Against Dutchtown on Thursday night, they struggled early as the Lady Griffins jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Dutchtown ran out to a 16-11 advantage in the first set and never looked back. They eventually clinched it with a 25-20 win.

St. Amant responded with a 5-1 lead to start the second set, but the Lady Griffins came roaring back. They went on a 14-6 run to grab a 15-11 advantage.

Returning all-district star Lauren Launey came up with two big spikes to stretch the lead to 19-13. From there, Dutchtown took the two-set lead with a 25-18 victory.

Facing defeat, the Lady Gators stood tall in the third set.

They jumped out to an 11-5 lead, before Dutchtown responded with an 8-3 rally to trim the deficit to 14-13.

St. Amant won 2 points on the serve of Aubrey Dwane to stretch their lead to 20-17. They eventually won the set, 25-23.

The Lady Gators began the fourth set with a 7-4 lead after an error-filled start by Dutchtown, but the Lady Griffins eventually tied it at 14.

The set went back and forth until Launey came up with another key spike to give Dutchtown a 22-19 advantage.

With the breathing room, they were able to close out the set and the match on an Annie Pavleszek serve.

"I think we did a really good job on the net and hitting when we could get the ball,” Ricks said. “We kind of struggled in services, but whenever we were able to hit, I know we did a really good job of putting the ball in good positions."

St. Amant—who went undefeated within the district for five straight years—has now begun the league schedule in a 1-2 hole. With the loss to Dutchtown, their overall mark dropped to 9-11

As for the Lady Griffins, they improved to 2-0 in district play and 9-6 overall. They have won four straight matches.

"I think we've been able to get our hitters the ball in good spots,” Ricks said. “We're getting healthy, too. We had some injuries. We had some concussions and things like that, but they're healing up, and the girls are just playing hard. They're starting to believe in each other."

Up next for Dutchtown, they’ll play Lakeshore and Denham Springs on Monday and Tuesday, before visiting parish foe East Ascension for a critical district clash on Thursday.

As for St. Amant, they’ll visit Mount Carmel on Tuesday, and then go on the road to face Denham Springs in a Thursday league game.