Two of the area’s top volleyball teams clashed Wednesday when Country Day, No. 1 in The New Orleans Advocate’s Small School rankings, made the short trip to face Dominican, No. 2 among large schools.
In the end, it was No. 1 that prevailed and remained perfect.
Country Day got off to a fast start, then held on for a 25-18, 25-17, 17-25, 15-25, 15-10 victory.
“We played really well and controlled the tempo early,” Country Day coach Julie Ibieta said. “The third game Domincan was digging everything we hit at them. The momentum shifted. We struggled passing for a while. Dominican played a great match. I was glad my team hung in there and had the composure to kept calm and win that fifth game.”
Maddie Leger had 35 digs to lead the Cajuns (8-0), the five-time reigning state champions.
Jenna Ibietta, the coach’s daughter, finished with 33 assists and Caroline Perlis had a team-high 14 kills and two blocks. Summers White had a pair of aces.
Country Day looked well on their way to cruising to victory after winning the first two games.
But Domininican rallied to claim the next two games.
“There were huge swings of momentum,” Dominican coach Jessica Chatellier said. “In the third and fourth game, it was singing our way. I was very proud of them because it’s hard to come back when you are that far in the hole.
But the Cajuns won the decisive fifth game 15-10 to remain undefeated.
Dominican, ranked No. 2 in the large school rankings, dropped to 2-2. Their other loss came against St. Joseph’s Academy.
Junior Abby Burchert had 17 kills and three aces for Dominican. The senior duo of Sara Bordelon and Olivia Boudreaux finished with 20 and 19 assists, respectively. Bordelon also had two aces. Marli Baquet had 23 digs and Laura Lorio finished with four blocks.
Chatellier, who returned to take over at Dominican after four years, is pleased with her team’s start to the season.
“I think we are letting people know we are a team to be reckoned with,” Chatellier said. “Teams are seeing that if they are going to beat us, they are going to work. We may not have a lot of flashiness, but we are going to play good defense and give people a good game.”
Dominican will play in the H.L. Bourgeois Tournament this weekend.
Country Day, meanwhile, heads out of state and will play in a tournament in Louisville.
“We have had a great start to the season so far,” Ibieta said. “We have a tough schedule, and we have done a good job of maintaining a high level of play. We feel like every match we have played has been a huge challenge and we have had to play well to win. We just wanted to improve every week but I am very pleased with where we are right now.”