St. Amant picks up straight-sets win over EA
When St. Amant and East Ascension met last month, the Lady Gators had to rally from two sets down to capture a thrilling five-set match. This time around, no comeback was needed.
Playing in the Gold Dome against the Lady Spartans, St. Amant came out hitting on all cylinders. They scored the first six points of the match and never looked back.
The Lady Gators jumped out to significant leads in every set, and East Ascension could never dig themselves out of the holes. It eventually led to a straight-sets victory for St. Amant.
“I was really pleased. That was probably the best start of a set in the first set that we’ve had all season long," Lady Gator head coach Allison Leake said. "Part of it is that our kids get really excited about the rivalry with EA. This is the first time we’ve played them in the Gold Dome in two years, so it was definitely a big match. I knew our kids would play really well.”
Both teams came into the contest a little wounded. East Ascension was fresh off of a straight-sets loss to Dutchtown, and St. Amant had lost four of their previous five matches. But you would never know by the way the Lady Gators came out Wednesday night.
St. Amant began the first set with a 6-0 lead, until a kill by Diamond Jones finally ended the run. However, it didn't stunt the Lady Gators' momentum. They cruised to a 13-2 lead.
Another Jones kill eventually got East Ascension within 18-12, but that's as close as they would come.
St. Amant responded with three straight points en route to a 25-16 first-set victory.
The Lady Gators got off to another hot start in the second. They raced out to an 11-5 advantage.
An error on an East Ascension serve pushed the lead to 16-8, and a kill by Megan Benoit made the lead swell to 20-10.
From there, St. Amant was able to close out a 25-12 win.
Facing elimination, the Lady Spartans had no answers in the third set. An ace by Gracie Duplechein put St. Amant ahead 7-0.
The Lady Gators later stretched the advantage to 11-2 with a kill by Elaina Anderson.
It all allowed the Lady Gators to cruise to an easy 25-14 victory that clinched the match.
“I think our kids were a little more disciplined and a little more experienced from a couple of weeks ago," Leake said. "We had some tough losses that we learned some lessons from, and I think our kids were a little more prepared for what EA can bring. They’re gonna get their kills and blocks; we just have to move on to the next point, and I think we did a really good job of that tonight.”
In the win, St. Amant was led by Duplechein as she had 10 assists, nine aces, seven digs and three kills.
Zoe Richard had five kills, four blocks and two digs, while Benoit contributed four kills and three aces.
As for East Ascension, Truli Joseph led them in the losing effort with 10 kills and four digs. Jones also had 10 kills, along with three digs.
Londyn Brown had a match-high 13 assists with three digs.
It was the second straight district loss for the Lady Spartans and their third of the season.
St. Amant is still in play to win the league. They only have one district defeat, and they have a chance to rectify that setback next week when they face Dutchtown--who is currently the league leader.
Coach Leake said she's hoping the win over East Ascension can give her girls some serious momentum as they head into the home stretch of their schedule.
“This is huge. I’m hoping this will be a turning point in our season," Leake said. "Our kids play well when they want to, but we have to play well and want to every match—not just against the big rivals.”