LAFAYETTE — When St. Thomas More found the correct serving zones Saturday afternoon, the Cougars volleyball team took a step toward staying in the comfort zone of being undefeated.
STM defeated Teurlings Catholic in three sets 25-21, 25-17, 25-23 on their way to a 2-0 day for the Cougars at the STM gym.
“They did a good job of placing the ball where I asked them to (on serves),” STM coach Jessica Burke said.
That win, coupled with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-17 victory over E.D. White in the final match of the day, improved the Cougars’ record to 23-0 in advance of STM’s homecoming dance Saturday night.
“The kids have been great this whole week with taking care of business,” Burke said. “I thought we did a good job of mixing up our shot selection by our hitters.”
Teurlings started strong in the opening set by grabbing a 10-4 advantage after a kill by Sadi Jones. STM gradually narrowed the gap to two points a handful of times.
Teurlings pushed the lead back to four when Jolie Hidalgo’s kill off a STM block attempt made it 18-14. However, the Cougars completed the comeback and grabbed the lead for good when Maddy Aucoin notched one of her six kills.
In the second game, STM maintained a slim lead at 19-16 when a kill from Catherine Aillet and an ace by Victoria Landry helped made it 22-16. The Cougars closed out the second game on an Aucoin kill.
“(The Cougars) are a very aggressive serving team, and they play good defense,” Teurlings coach Terry Hebert said. “Anytime our middle is out of the play that kind of sets up to what every opponent wants. We had some opportunities to win and finish the game. There were just little things we didn’t take care of.”
The final set was another back-and-forth struggle. Neither side gained much of an advantage until the Cougars turned a 21-all deadlock into a win. Setter Avery Breaux finished the match with a kill. It was one of seven kills for Breaux in addition to her 29 assists.
Teurlings (19-4) evened its record by bouncing back to defeat E.D. White in the second match 25-13, 25-19, 15-25, 25-23. Teurlings took a 12-3 lead on the way to the opening-set win. The Rebels enjoyed a two-game cushion when the Cardinals from Thibodaux used their defensive prowess to help cement a Game 3 win.
“E.D. White is a heck of a defensive team, and they played better as the match went on,” Hebert said.
The Cardinals nearly forced a fifth game before the Rebels wrapped up their portion of the action by holding on for a 25-23 win in Game 4. “We passed well and executed well early, but then we tend to say ‘hey. We’ve got this,’ Hebert said. “It was our ninth match in seven days.
“But we have to keep the intensity up. We had a few hitting errors, and we tightened up a little in that fourth set.”