With the state volleyball playoffs starting next week, the Mandeville Skippers were looking to sharpen their game in the two-day Academy of Our Lady volleyball tournament.

The Skippers, ranked third in The New Orleans Advocate’s large school rankings, did just that in defeating the host AOL Penguins 25-11, 25-15 in a sweep Saturday to improve to 31-5 on the season.

AOL fell to 28-8.

“We played very well,” Mandeville coach Jody Walker said. “We keep trying to pick up our level of play for the state tournament coming up in a few weeks. We want to continue to push to play better and be more efficient as we move forward.”

Mandeville got off to a fast start by taking eight of the first 12 points in Game 1 before the Penguins called for a timeout.

The pause did little to slow down the Skippers as they went on 8-1 run and forced another timeout.

The Penguins managed to match Mandeville for the rest of the game, but the damage was done at that point. The Skippers took the game 25-11.

“We really communicated well in (Game 1),” Mandeville’s Emily Boylan said. “We passed well, we were really good serving and receiving. It just all came together that game.”

The second game had a much more promising start for AOL. The Penguins took four of the first five points. Walker chose to let his team play on rather than call a timeout, and his faith was rewarded when the Skippers quickly regained command.

Mandeville scored the game’s next 12 points to go up 13-4 and never looked back.

Like the end of the first game, AOL was able to stage somewhat of a comeback and traded points with Mandeville late. However, the deficit was simply too much for the Penguins to overcome, and the Skippers won 25-15 to secure the win and the tournament.

“We’re pretty confident,” said Madison Bothner. “We’ve been winning a lot, so I hope we can keep this up (heading into the state tournament).”