The Academy of Our Lady volleyball team had a history-making season last year that the school probably won’t forget for some time.
But if you were to ask the Penguins, they aren’t done re-writing the school’s history books quite yet.
With many key players returning from the school’s first Division II quarterfinals berth in 2014, AOL showed its growth with a 25-10, 25-5, 25-20 straight-set win on the road against Haynes Academy in a nondistrict match Tuesday.
“We want to make sure that we can get past the quarterfinals this year,” said Academy of Our Lady outside hitter Mia Jones, who finished with a team-high 11 kills. “We just try to focus on talking through the match and not repeating the same mistakes we made last year.
“It was big for us to come out and play our best those first two sets, so we wouldn’t give them a chance to come back at the end.”
Coming off a three-set win over St. Charles on Monday. The Penguins (9-2) wasted no time taking control in the first game.
They followed that up by jumping out to an 18-3 lead in the second set before back-to-back aces by Hailee Richard gave AOL a 25-5 win in the second set.
“Our main focus is just playing consistently in every match we play,” Penguins coach Teri Verret said. “Sometimes we have a tendency to play down to certain opponents, but we did a good job (Tuesday) of keeping that same intensity throughout the match.”
The Yellow Jackets (5-2), who came into Tuesday ranked No. 8 among small schools in the New Orleans Advocate Sweet 16 poll, fought to keep themselves in contention during the third set, but the Penguins took advantage of a few of their mistakes down the stretch to win the third game 25-20 .
“I thought that third game we relaxed just a little bit and thought we had the match won,” Verret said. “But I was really happy with the fact that once we saw an opportunity to put them away, we did it. That’s what good teams do.”
Three players among the Yellow Jackets tied for the team lead with two kills, but Madison Scifo did by far the most to assist Haynes on defense, registering a team-high 10 digs.
Jill Chaisson was second for AOL in kills with nine, while Kaylee Dufrene followed up her 28-assist performance Monday with a team-high 24 assists Tuesday.