NAPOLEONVILLE – On paper, Tuesday's matchup between Assumption High and South Terrebonne volleyball teams was a battle of Top 5 Division II squads.
On the court, the Lady Mustangs proved to be the superior side, sweeping the Lady Gators 25-11, 25-21, 25-22 in District 6-II action.
Elise Smith sparked the Assumption attack with 16 kills and five aces, followed by Ra’von Robertson (13 kills), Raegan Alleman (31 assists and eight digs) and Tioszalon Hill (six kills).
Paityn Landry led South Terrebonne with 8 kills and 7 digs, along with Marion Stewart (3 kills and 3 blocks), Maddy Boquet (6 kills, 12 digs and an ace) and Laura White (4 kills).
“We’re doing such a better job serving. We’re finally finding some sort of consistency in our play,” Assumption head coach Tara Campo said. “We had some key plays at the net. We’re being scrappy on defense between our libero and setter making awesome plays. We came ready to play.”
“I was not pleased with the way we came out in the first set. I don’t know if we were intimidated walking into this gym,” South Terrebonne head coach Richard Sasser said. “Between the first and second sets I gave them an earful more than I normally do. I’m glad they fought back in the second and third sets. They got a little bit of a lead on us, and we couldn’t quite overcome it.”
Assumption (13-8, 3-0 district) sprinted out to a big lead in the first game. Consecutive kills from Robertson ignited five straight points; Smith dropped back-to-back aces, and Assumption had three different runs of three points to take the set.
“That’s one thing we’ve been focusing on because we struggled so much early on was our serving,” Campo explained. “That’s something we want to be successful with in every game.”
“The power rankings came out (Tuesday). We moved up to five, and they were at four,” Sasser said. “You would think that would give us something to shoot for out the gate, but it wasn’t.”
The second game featured eight ties and a pair of lead changes. South Terrebonne (16-8, 1-1 district) went on an 8-3 run, including three kills from Landry, to go up 13-12. Assumption composed a 6-1 burst behind Smith blasting three kills and an ace to go ahead 18-14.
However, four straight Assumption hitting errors tied the match at 18. Down the stretch, Hill and Robertson each had two kills to help the Mustangs finish the set off.
Assumption kept the Lady Gators at bay for most of the third game. Consecutive aces from Smith helped give the Lady Mustangs a 19-13 advantage. The net play of Stewart and Boquet sparked South Terrebonne’s 8-3 run to pull within 22-21. However, Smith took control and scored the final three points on powerful kills to seal the victory.
“We had some miscues with our settings, with our offense. We’re fortunate that we’ve been down in situations and have been able to fight back,” Campo said. “Elise is such a tremendous player. She’s a senior. With the right set, she’s dominating. She sees the court well.”
“We had to make sure we weren’t serving to their libero. For a while we weren’t hitting spots, feeding the ball to their best passer and letting them get into their offense,” Sasser said. “We were more aggressive in the middle. In that first set, we were soft at the net, but we got more aggressive. We made some wiser decisions at the net in the second and third sets.”
Both teams return to district play with tough matches on Thursday.
“If we want to be a district champion, you got to come out and play better than that,” Sasser said. “We got Terrebonne on Thursday, and they’ve been playing well. So we better step I up before we play them.”
“We have a tough game Thursday against South Lafourche. It’s always difficult to play on the road in our district,” Campo said. “We just hope to serve well and keep that consistency. I think we’re finally starting to jell on the court.”
TUESDAY’S VOLLEYBALL CAPSULES
THIBODAUX DEF. CENTRAL LAFOURCHE
Score: 25-16, 25-7, 27-25 (at Mathews, District 6-I match)
Statistical leaders: Thibodaux – Abbie Bonvillain (23 assists), Hailey Alcorn (15 blocks, five kills), Jamaya Holmes (15 kills, eight digs), Abbey Arceneaux (22 digs) ; Central Lafourche – Brianna Hernandez (16 assists, nine digs), McKenzie Champagne (12 digs, ace), Deanna Schouest (eight kills, block), Chloe Babin (three aces, two kills), Latavia Steward (four kills, solo block), Kagan Hamby (two kills)
Records: Thibodaux (7-14 overall, 1-3 in district); Central Lafourche (7-18 overall, 0-4 in district)
H.L. BOURGEOIS DEF. EAST ST. JOHN
Score: 25-16, 25-15, 25-10 (at Gray, District 6-I match)
Statistical leaders: H.L. Bourgeois – Abby Theriot (six kills), Bria St. Mary (six kills, four aces), Da’Zhane’ Gasery (six kills, two solo blocks), Christina McElroy (six kills, two solo blocks), Kelsi Stegall (26 assists), Victoria Battaglia (six digs), Tess Fanguy (four digs)
Records: H.L. Bourgeois (15-6 overall, 4-0 in district); East St. John (12-8 overall, 1-3 in district)
TERREBONNE DEF. ELLENDER
Score: 25-17, 25-12, 25-14 (at Houma, District 6-II match)
Statistical leaders: Terrebonne – Taylor Walls (16 kills, eight digs), Destiny Griffin (seven kills, two blocks), Hannah Liner (13 digs, two aces), Lauren Bergeron (28 assists, six digs), Dalainie Liner (10 digs, six aces)
Records: Terrebonne (13-7 overall, 1-1 in district); Ellender (8-15 overall, 0-3 in district)
BERWICK DEF. HOUMA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Score: 21-25, 28-26, 25-18, 25-22 (at Berwick, nondistrict match)
Statistical leaders: Houma Christian – Dalesia Williams (15 kills), Jayda Ward (10 kills), Xariel Washington (five kills), Abby Ricker (two aces, 11 digs), Madelyn Carlos (32 assists), Jordyn Marie (20 digs), Alex McKeon (11 digs)
Records: Berwick (14-10 overall); Houma Christian (6-13 overall)
-- Compiled by sports writer Kelly McElroy.