DUTCHTOWN — Fueled by two strong players at the net, Lutcher defeated Dutchtown 3-0 in volleyball action Thursday night.
Jariel Tureaud, a 6-foot senior, and Janaya Taylor, a 5-8 junior, combined for 35 kills as Lutcher defeated Dutchtown 25-22, 25-23 and 25-20.
Lutcher (13-4) was a Division III quarterfinal playoff team last season, and coach Ricky LeBlanc said he has high expectations for his Bulldogs.
“When we control the first contact like we did tonight, we can compete with just about anybody,” LeBlanc said. “Tureaud has been starting for us since eighth grade, and she is a force. Taylor is very athletic and a quick jumper.”
In her first match back following an ankle injury, Tureaud had 20 kills, three blocks and three digs. Taylor had 15 kills and five blocks.
Dutchtown’s Kristen Thompson, a 5-11 junior, showed some power of her own with 12 kills and three blocks. Whitney Jones (seven kills), Caroline Beeman (six kills), Bailey Mohler (22 digs) and Abby St. Pierre (14 assists) also came up big for the Griffins (3-7). Dutchtown advanced to the second round of the Division I playoffs last season.
“Our effort and our ball control was much better than it has been the last few matches,” Dutchtown coach Patrick Ricks said. “Lutcher is a great experienced team and has one of the best players in the state in Jariel Tureaud. We just weren’t able to make enough plays to win.”
Lutcher jumped to a 6-2 lead in the first game. With Jones serving, Dutchtown went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-8 lead. The Griffins soon led 20-16. Lutcher went on a 9-2 run from there. Tureaud scored the final four points from the front row. The winning point came on Tureaud’s two-handed push shot.
Lutcher surged to a 15-8 lead in the second game. Beeman had two kills and an ace as the Griffins went on an 8-3 run. Thompson had a kill as the Griffins clawed within 24-23. Tureaud scored the winning point against a double-block attempt.
The third game was tied six different times, including 19-19. With Jacie Whitney serving, Lutcher closed with a 6-1 run. Taylor had the winning point. Gillian Miculek added 33 assists for the Bulldogs.
LeBlanc said his 5-3 junior libero Maegan Michel played well with 21 digs.
“She’s all over the place and plays with energy,” he said.
Dutchtown had six serving errors, and Ricks said his team needs to get that cleaned up.
“We work on serving at practice every day for 30 minutes,” Ricks said. “It has been a problem the last few years. We’re getting better. I do like that the girls are serving with confidence.”