With a spot in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state volleyball tournament on the line, the University High Cubs were in no mood to toy around on their home court against Thomas Jefferson-Gretna on Monday.
Katie Sands picked up eight kills, and Allie Mitchell added another seven for the Cubs (29-8, 10-0), who were rarely troubled, winning 25-10, 25-12, 25-17.
Kate Studrawa had five aces for U-High, which also got 19 assists from Shelbi White.
“I thought they played as if they didn’t know their opponent,” said Cubs coach Bonita Johnson. “They played with energy, and I’ve wanted them to do that — play to their ability — all year. They did a good job staying focused and getting the job done.”
Kristen Morvant led the Jaguars (25-15, 2-8) with nine kills and the match’s only block, while Danielle Sullen chipped in with nine assists.
“I honestly believe we could’ve played better,” said TJHS coach Emily Cormier. “We’re a young program, we’ve only been playing for three years. The nerves were there, and the inexperience of playing in a playoff situation was there.”
The first set started evenly and the two teams were tied at 4-4 early on. Four aces in a span of five serves by Studrawa saw the Cubs race out to a 9-4 lead, and when Morvant committed an attacking error, UHS led 12-4.
A Mitchell kill sparked a 3-0 run that stretched the lead to 17-6, and it was another Mitchell kill, off a White assist, that finished the first game, 25-10.
The Cubs raced out of the gate in the second game, and an ace by Lindsay Flory got the home team to 15 before the visitors were able to score 3.
The Jaguars responded with a small comeback, and a pair of aces by Sarah Rees got them within 18-8. The renewed vigor was much too little too late however, and two Devin Boyle aces in a three-point span clinched the second game, 25-12.
Thomas Jefferson scored the first point of the third game, but the Cubs went on another run and quickly staked themselves to a 9-4 lead on another Mitchell kill.
Layla Argrave scored back-to-back aces to give UHS a 13-5 lead, and a White ace saw them reach 20 before the Jaguars could make it to double digits.
The Cubs began to empty their bench to give the backup players some minutes at that point, and the Jaguars took advantage to post their best offensive output of the night.
A kill by Ashley Humbles got them within 23-17, but an attacking error by Rees and an ace by Madeleine Richard finished off the match.