St. Amant fights back to beat Dutchtown in four sets

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant's Elaina Anderson (foreground) and Gracie Duplechein (background) celebrate a big point won in the Lady Gators' four-set victory over Dutchtown. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

It looked like it was going to be a short evening for St. Amant.

In Tuesday night's district clash with Dutchtown, they dropped the first set and then trailed 10-1 at the beginning of the second.

But then the Lady Gators started getting tremendous production from the net, most notably Elaina Anderson. Every time they needed a big kill or a big block, more times than not, it was Anderson that supplied it.

St. Amant went on a 24-10 run to grab the second set, and then they rolled in the third and fourth frames to collect a 3-1 victory.

“After the first set, I looked at our stats, and almost our entire team was hitting negative," Lady Gator head coach Allison Leake said. "You can’t win matches if you can’t keep the ball in court. Granted, Dutchtown did a very good job of blocking. It definitely kept us off of our game.

"We made some adjustments in the second set after we got our heads back together. We made adjustments with our setting, and I think it definitely helped our hitters produce more. Those little fine details really matter.”

The Lady Griffins started off hot, racing out to a 10-6 lead in the first set, but St. Amant fought back and tied it at 14-14.

From there, the two teams went back and forth until Zoe Wooten came up with a big block that gave Dutchtown 24 points. They eventually took the set, 25-21--ending on a 5-1 push.

To begin the second, St. Amant couldn't do anything right. They quickly fell into a 10-1 hole.

However, the Lady Gators unleashed a huge run. A big spike by Anderson gave St. Amant their first lead of the set at 12-11, completing an 11-1 rally.

Eventually, a block by Anderson and an error by Dutchtown led to a 25-20 win in the set for St. Amant.

Dutchtown went up 7-3 to begin the third set, but once again, the Lady Gators rallied. They took the lead at 9-8.

With a kill by Anderson, they were able to take their biggest lead at 17-14. From there, they rolled. They won the set, 25-17, with an ace by Olivia Rome.

The Lady Gators didn't let up in the fourth. A kill by Zoe Richard gave them a 12-4 advantage right out of the gates. A kill by Anderson gave them 24 points, as they ended up taking the set, 25-16.

In the victory, Gracie Duplechein had a match-high 27 assists, along with six kills. Richard had 11 kills, Madison Glasby had seven kills and 14 digs and Rome had four digs and 16 assists.

Anderson led the way with 15 kills, four digs and two blocks.

“She’s a player that I don’t think realized her impact," Leake said. "We’ve talked to her about transitioning and getting in on every play and putting more of a load on herself because she makes very few hitting mistakes. She’s a tall kid that has a good vertical. She reaches high, so she’s able to hit over a lot of blocks, but she’s a smart kid too. Her being able to take the load off some of our other hitters helps tremendously.”

In defeat, Dutchtown was led by India Bennett with nine kills and four blocks. Jaela Drumgole led the team in assists with 15.

If St. Amant beats Live Oak next week, they will claim a share of the district championship.

“I think we’ve been playing a lot better, a lot cleaner," Leake said. "Even when we lose, when we play well, I enjoy coaching these matches because I’m not just looking at how to fix our errors and fundamental mistakes, but I actually get to coach. I’m hoping our kids have gotten over the hump.”