St. Amant loses to St. Thomas More in four sets

Kyle Riviere
Elaina Anderson (No. 22) and Megan Benoit (No. 10) during St. Amant's 3-1 loss to St. Thomas More. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After winning four straight matches--including a five-setter against East Ascension--it looked like St. Amant was ready to hit their stride.

However, their winning streak came to a quick end last Monday night when they were swept by district and parish foe Dutchtown.

Two days later, they tried to rebound against non-district opponent St. Thomas More.

They got off to a great start as they took the first set, but from there, it was all Lady Cougars. They won three straight sets to take the match and hand St. Amant its second straight loss.

“We broke down mentally. We had so many unforced errors," Lady Gator head coach Allison Leake said. "We’re fighting ourselves, and that’s not to say St. Thomas More isn’t a great team. So, when you’re making that many hitting errors, it’s hard to compete with a good team. You’ve got to really push them to earn their points, and I don’t think we did a very good job of that tonight.”

St. Amant was rolling early on.

They ran out to an 11-4 lead to begin the first set. Even when St. Thomas More countered with an 8-4 run to get within three points, Megan Benoit came up with a kill that ended the rally.

They eventually took the first set by a score of 25-17.

The match drastically changed in the second. After being in total control in the opening set, St. Amant was rolled over in the second.

A big kill by the Lady Cougars gave them a 13-6 lead, and St. Amant kept following it up with errors.

It all led to an easy 25-11 second-set victory for St. Thomas More.

The Lady Cougars continued to feed on the momentum as they took an 8-3 lead to start the third, but this time, the Lady Gators countered. They scored five of the next six points to get within one.

Although, they failed to get any closer.

Just when St. Amant looked to be a threat as they got within 23-20, they fell victim to a serving error. It gave way to a 25-21 St. Thomas More win.

Fighting to push the match to a fifth set, Gracie Duplechein started the fourth with a big kill to give St. Amant a 2-0 lead, but the Lady Cougars responded with a 5-0 run to take the advantage.

The Lady Gators kept fighting. Benoit picked up another kill that led to them taking a 13-10 lead, but that's when St. Thomas More took over.

The Lady Cougars unleashed an 11-2 run that gave them a 21-17 lead, and they eventually closed out the match with a 25-19 victory in the set.

It was the second straight defeat for St. Amant. They were outscored in those losses, 6-1.

“We’ll see how they respond. It depends on how hard the girls are working at practice. They’re going to have to pick it up there," Leake said.

Coming up for St. Amant, they have a huge rematch with East Ascension at home on Wednesday. The game carries with it serious district implications.

Leake just wants to see her team break out of their current funk. She thinks what they need to pull it off rests between their ears.

“I’d like to see more aggressiveness and mental toughness. We need to cut down on the unforced errors," Leake said. "We need to know when we can take a good swing at the ball and when we need to keep the ball in play. It’s more mental for us right now. We’re making a lot of mistakes, because we’re just not thinking.”