Ascension Episcopal tops St. Martinville _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- St. Martinville's Torian Owens (5) scores a point agianst AES defenders Gabby Tremblay (4) and Alaina Hardy (26) on Tuesday at St. Martinville Senior High School.

ST. MARTINVILLE — The Ascension Episcopal volleyball team staved off a late rally by St. Martinville to secure its eighth straight win with a 3-1 (25-13, 25-13, 23-25, 25-19) victory against the Tigers on the road Tuesday.

After winning the first two sets in convincing fashion, Ascension Episcopal (10-5) fell victim to some late-match mistakes, allowing the Tigers (7-3) to mount a comeback until the Gators put the match away in the fourth set with 10 straight points.

“We want to be rolling going into going into district play,” Ascension Episcopal coach Jill Braun said of her team’s win streak.

The Gators used a number of rallies in the first two sets to take an 2-0 lead against St. Martinville with back-to-back 25-13 victories.

Ascension Episcopal seemed poised to finish the contest in straight sets, leading the Tigers 22-17 in the third set. But the Tigers rattled off eight of the next nine points to steal a win and force a fourth set.

“St. Martinville is a good team, and if you don’t play your best against them, you open up a door for them to win,” Braun said. “In Game 3, I think we got a little lax. We didn’t play our best, and we lost.”

The Tigers’ momentum carried into the fourth game, and they seemed poised to force a fifth set, leading 19-15 late in the fourth set. The Gators came out of a timeout and scored 10 consecutive points to win the set and match.

“I told them that they had to stay focused and do what we do best, and that’s serving tough and hitting the ball hard,” Braun said. “I made an adjustment at the end. Alaina Hardy took us home with her serving and (I) moved Addie Vidrine to the outside and her strong arm and strong hitting really took us through the end.”

The Gators have one match before the start of district. On Wednesday night, the Gators will be at home against Division III opponent Teurlings Catholic (5-3).

“We have a big match against Teurlings Catholic, which is very talented,” Braun said. “I would have liked to see us play a little more error-free volleyball (Tuesday) going into a big game (Wednesday), but I’m excited with what we’ve got going on right now.”