EA takes down rival St. Amant in four sets

Kyle Riviere
East Ascension's Truli Joseph had a game-high 25 kills in the Lady Spartans' four-set win over St. Amnat. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Last season, Dutchtown and St. Amant shared the District 4 championship. After Tuesday night, East Ascension has now beaten them both in less than a week.

The Lady Spartans took Dutchtown down in five sets last Thursday. Five days later, they followed that up with a four-set victory over archrival St. Amant.

East Ascension trailed in both the third and fourth sets, but they weathered the storm and fought back to close out both sets, netting them the match win.

“Let me tell you something. These kids come in every day, and they work hard," Lady Spartan head coach Jamie Gilmore said. "The amount of hard work and effort they put in, there is no doubt in my mind about them. They’ve overcome a lot mentally, and it’s starting to show in these matches.”

East Ascension came out on fire, surging to a 12-3 lead to begin the first set, but St. Amant battled back. They went on an 11-4 run to cut the deficit to 16-14.

However, a Daisha Mosley score for the Lady Spartans put them ahead 22-18. A Truli Joseph kill then clinched the set by a score of 25-21.

It was St. Amant that got off to the tremendous start in the second. After a big spike by Elaina Anderson, the Lady Gators took a firm 11-4 lead.

East Ascension chipped away until they got within 22-21, but a Lady Spartan serving error followed by an Aubrey Dwane score evened the match with a 25-22 Lady Gator victory.

After the third set began with a 6-6 tie, Gracie Duplechein went on a tear for St. Amant. She scored three straight points, which contributed to a Lady Gator 6-0 run that put them ahead, 12-6.

But East Ascension surged back. A spike by Joseph struck home just inbounds to give the Lady Spartans a 19-18 lead.

Joseph then served out a 25-19 victory for the Lady Spartans.

In the fourth, once again, St. Amant had the early lead. They initially went ahead 7-4. Although, East Ascension tied it at 13-13.

From there, the teams went back and forth.

A spike by Joseph down the stretch, followed by two St. Amant serving errors allowed the Lady Spartans to take the lead and keep it. They took the set 25-22 and locked up the four-set victory.

“We just stayed up. We kept the energy up on our side," Gilmore said. "We didn’t doubt ourselves, and we played hard every ball. When you do that, the other team begins to get off-balanced, and that’s what you hope for.”

In defeat, Duplechein had 14 assists, 13 kills and seven digs, while Dwane added 13 digs and 10 kills. Maggie Diez led the team in digs with 18, and Olivia Rome led the Lady Gators in assists with 19.

For East Ascension, Joseph had a game-high 25 kills, along with nine digs. Mosley added 14 kills, seven digs and five aces.

Londyn Brown had a game-high 30 assists.

Thursday night's victory was only East Ascension's second against St. Amant since Gilmore has been their head coach.

“It’s huge for these girls. This is only our second time beating them, and I think it’s gonna keep giving them the confidence they need moving forward," Gilmore said.

It was East Ascension's ninth straight victory, and they're now in sole possession of the top spot in the district.

“I like the way we’re playing," Gilmore said. "As far as the rankings go, I don’t know anything about all of that. I don’t pay attention to that stuff because there is still a lot of season left, but the way we’re playing right now, I’m proud. That’s all I can ask for.”