In a match that featured multiple momentum shifts, it was De La Salle that had enough to defeat Lusher 25-16, 25-27, 25-19, 25-20 Thursday at Atlantik-Brucke Gymnasium.
“We are the better team when we decide we want to play the whole part of the game,” said De La Salle coach Alan Segal. “We did not pass or serve very well tonight. We made a lot of critical passing errors.”
With the errors, De La Salle (24-12, 4-1, District 8-III) allowed Lusher to score.
“They’ve got some good players,” Segal said. “When a team has some good players and they get on a roll because you’re letting them in, something can happen and that’s what happened in the second game.”
Jordan Rankins led De La Salle with 12 kills, while Joi Johnson had 11. Brooke Bonura had 43 assists.
For Lusher (22-14, 2-3), Hasani Salaam had 12 kills, Ry-Anne Riley had 19 digs and Stella Frentress had 24 assists.
De La Salle junior Jane Sullivan said pushing through as a team was important to Thursday’s win.
“This has been the one thing that we’ve been working on all week,” she said. “We have district champs. We were like once we beat Ursuline, this is our moment. This is where we push. This is where we shine.”
The Cavaliers had a strong win in the first set, however, Lusher came back to tie the score in the second, the last being at 24-24. After a De La Salle serve hit the net, the Lions had a block to win the set.
The second started out like the first with the Lions taking an early lead and the Cavaliers later building their own. However, Lusher tied the score at 15-15 before De La Salle took back the momentum.
A hit by Rankins extended the lead to 18-15.
De La Salle, which scored wins over Chalmette and Newman last weekend, is ranked eighth in The New Orleans Advocate’s small school poll while the Lions are 10th.
In the first set, Lusher started with the advantage and after a 4-4 tie, the Cavaliers took their first lead and never relinquished it.
“I just think in the second game, we made less errors,” said Lusher coach Kiersten Thompson. “That’s what I told them at the end of the game tonight. I just said, when you play good teams, the team that makes the least amount of errors is going to win. We have to play more consistently.”
A hit by Lusher’s Madeleine Ruiz cut the De La Salle advantage to 9-6. The Cavaliers later took a 12-6 lead following a block.
Another block by Ruiz cut the lead to 12-7 and a spike by Johnson extended it by one.
After the Cavaliers took a 17-9 lead, a kill by Riley cut the lead to 17-10.