Dutchtown bests EA in five sets
For the second time this season, East Ascension and Dutchtown faced off in what became an emotional, back-and-forth five-set thriller, and again, the home team came away with the victory.
Earlier this month, it was the Lady Spartans that earned the win. This time around, Dutchtown came from behind to taste victory and earn a share of the district championship for a third straight season.
“It was a great match. The fans were great," Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said. "EA is a phenomenal team. Jamie [Gilmore] does a great job with them. I’m just so glad for our girls for playing so hard. They fought through a lot of adversity.”
The Lady Griffins had to fight off a match point in the fourth set, and to start the fifth, they fell into a 4-1 hole. Still, they surged back and earned the win.
“I think the girls did a great job tonight. They fought," Ricks said. "Zoe [Wooten] was hurt, so we were out of sorts for a little while, but I told them that we have to play with who’s on the court, and they stepped up and fought, and I’m so proud of them. They did a great job.”
The Lady Griffins fell behind right from the start. East Ascension began the first set with a 9-5 lead and never trailed. They ended up taking the frame, 25-21.
The Lady Spartans had another lead in the second set. They were ahead 18-16, but Dutchtown eventually regained the advantage.
An incredible hustle play by Sarah St. Pierre that saw her nearly go into the stands to keep the ball alive led to a Dutchtown point to put them ahead 23-21. They eventually evened the match with a 25-23 victory.
East Ascension was back in control to start the third set, running out to a 19-10 lead. They eventually went up 2-1 with a 25-23 win.
Dutchtown went up 5-1 to start the fourth, but East Ascension surged back and eventually tied things. From there, the set was back and forth.
A big block by Truli Joseph helped the Lady Spartans reach match point at 24-23, but the Griffins ended the frame on a 4-1 rally.
To win the set, 27-25, Dutchtown was fueled by a kill by Zoe Wooten and a block by India Bennett.
The fifth set began with East Ascension taking a 4-1 lead. They later held a 12-10 advantage.
Again, Dutchtown didn't falter. Jaela Drumgole scored on her serve to give the Lady Griffins their 14th point. They then finished off a 15-13 victory to take the match.
“We started controlling the ball a little bit better," Ricks said. "Our passing had gotten really bad for a little while. We started passing better and playing better defense. We had some good blocking at the net.”
Dutchtown was led by Wooten, who had 19 kills and 13 digs. Drumgole and Taylor Heeb had 28 and 24 assists, respectively.
In a losing effort, Joseph had 30 kills and eight blocks for East Ascension. Daisha Mosley was close behind with 22 kills.
Even though the Lady Spartans lost, they will still claim a share of the district title.
As for Dutchtown, after stumbling through a three-match losing streak, they have now won two straight heading into the playoffs.
“It’s really big going into the playoffs for us. It helps our confidence," Ricks said. "We had struggled for a little while. Our setter Jaela [Drumgole] was injured. To have her back is big. We made some changes in our lineup for this match, and they bought into it, and it was a great team effort tonight.”