LAKE CHARLES — The Acadiana High volleyball team fell to Barbe in straight sets for the second time this season Tuesday night in a Division I, District 2 road match.
The Rams (17-13, 3-4) suffered their third sweep defeat in district play as the Buccaneers (23-9, 7-0) ran away with the match 25-17, 25-5, 25-19 to remain perfect in district.
“Coming into tonight, we knew how good Barbe was,” Acadiana coach Celie LeBlanc said. “We learn a lot from losses. When we get back, we’ll watch some film, see what we need to do on our side of the court in order to be prepared for Thursday’s matchup against Sulphur.”
Barbe never dominated in the first set of the match, but it rarely trailed as it limited Acadiana to no more than two consecutive points and slowly and consistently built on its lead on its way to a 25-17 victory.
However, Acadiana senior all-around player Destiny McCoy went down with a knee injury in the first set, and her absence was felt heavily in the second set.
The Buccaneers dominated the set from the onset, taking advantage of the shakeup in the Rams lineup and making minimal errors for a 25-5 victory.
“We had to pull (McCoy) out, and it changed the dynamic of our team,” LeBlanc said. “She’s our strong hitter in the front row, and we didn’t have her. ... I wouldn’t say she’s the reason we lost that set by that much, but the dynamic of our team changed, our kids weren’t prepared for that big a change in our defense.”
Much how they treat every loss, LeBlanc said the Rams used McCoy’s injury as a learning opportunity to help them improve in the future.
“It was very different for us, however, she’s a senior, so she won’t be here next year. It was a great experience for our upperclassmen to get some experience on a varsity court,” LeBlanc said.
Acadiana fought back in the third set, but it wouldn’t be enough to avoid the sweep.
Barbe opened things up by scoring the first four points of the set, and it looked as if the third set would play out much like the second.
The Rams refused to lie down, and rattled off four consecutive points of their own — their longest streak of the night — to tie the set up at 4.
While Acadiana never let the final set get out of hand, the Buccaneers steadily inched their away to a comfortable lead and eventually sealed the victory with a 25-19 set victory.
“We’ve been struggling with our mental toughness,” LeBlanc said. “We are very weak mentally, and it’s something we’ve been working on. That’s something we see improving.”