GRAND COTEAU —The comeback Megan McCown expected from her Academy of The Sacred Heart team in the second set against Rayne on Wednesday night was nothing like she anticipated.
Instead what she witnessed, McCown said, somewhat exceeded her expectations.
Trailing Rayne 13-3 early, the Saints won seven of the next eight points and then grabbed their first lead (24-23) to eventually capture the set 26-24.
The Game 2 victory, McCown said, helped set the tone for ASH which swept the match, 25-16, 26-24, 25-20 in a contest that ended the regular season for the two playoff-bound teams.
Rayne (33-7) began the contest ranked No. 5 in Division III. ASH (25-8) was ranked third in Division V.
ASH finished District 1 undefeated, while the Wolves finished second in District 3 to league champion Teurlings Catholic.
McCown said she was a bit astounded by her team’s tenacity during the second game.
“I expected us to make a run at some point, but for us to do it in the fashion we did says a lot about the character of this team. What an effort,” McCown said.
Rayne volleyball coach Stephanie Garrett said her team played somewhat unresponsively throughout the entire match.
“I thought we came and chilled more than we played,” she said. “I really didn’t think our effort in (in the second game) affected the match much at all.
“It seemed like we were just going through the motions. Did this seem like a playoff atmosphere to me? Hope not.”
McCown said her objective coming in was to speed up the pace of her offense to hopefully counter Rayne’s net attack.
“We were expecting it to be a fast game,” she said. “They have two big hitters, and we needed to hit quick in order to keep them off balance.”
The ASH offense was led by Kathleen Boulet (18 kills, 11 digs). Jennifer Link supplied six kills and four service aces.
Hailey Gauthier had eight kills, three aces and 10 digs. Saints setter Maci Quebedeaux added 33 assists.
Rayne’s attack was led by Tarya Kanomu, Charlesha Dugas and Katie Benoit.
Kanomu finished with a team-high eight kills and 12 digs. Dugas had five kills, while Benoit delivered three.
The Saints raced to a 17-8 lead in the first set.
Erin Mockler served four straight points, and Gauthier served another three straight as ASH extended the advantage (21-8) with a Boulet kill.
In the second set, Kanomu punctuated the Wolves’ early points as she hammered two kills and a block as Rayne led 13-3.
Gauthier blocked a shot that provided the Saints with a serve, and her kill several points later cut Rayne’s lead to 14-10.
After that, Rayne failed to pull away. A Boulet kill and a Jennifer Muldowny ace pulled the Saints within two (17-15).
Two kills later by Kanomu gave the Wolves a 23-18 advantage, but Gauthier served six straight points, and a Boulet block gave the Saints a final lead at 24-23.
ASH led the third game20-10, but a Dugas block cut the advantage to 23-16.
Rayne launched a brief comeback after that winning five straight with Dugas serving, but Link’s kill ended the set.