Tenth-seeded Mandeville had little trouble in the first round of the Division I state volleyball playoffs, dispatching No. 23 Baton Rouge High 25-13, 25-11, 25-16 on Thursday in Mandeville.
With the win, the Skippers (20-13) advance to take on seventh-seeded Dominican, which received a first-round bye.
“We took care of business and now we get to move on,” Skippers coach Jody Walker said. “This time of year, that is all you ever want to do. You just want to move on. Our girls played well tonight. Our serving was there in bunches and our bigs up front played well for us.”
Baton Rouge High (20-14) was led by Megan Morgan’s four kills. Maria Morgan had three kills and four digs, Loren James added two blocks and Sameera Mohamed had seven assists in the match.
“We brought the younger kids with us for a reason today,” Bulldogs coach Sheila Achee’ said. “Our goal this year was to make it to the playoffs. Next year our goal is to make it to the second round of the playoffs. What we are trying to do at this school is build a program. Build something that is not just there, but has a future and is playoff worthy.”
The trio of frontline players paced Mandeville to victory: Marissa Lecompte finished with 10 kills and five blocks, Emily Boylan added nine kills and Sam Gomez had eight kills.
“That trio all had one of their better games as of late,” Walker said. “Emily can make the dynamic hits and Marissa and Sam are just steady players for us. They all stepped up for us and if we want to continue this run we are going to need them.”
Adding four blocks to her nine kills, Boylan said she was excited to be able to help her squad advance to the second round.
“We just had to focus for as long as we needed,” Boylan said. “When we focus and stay attentive, we can really play good volleyball. We did that at times tonight. I’m excited that we get to go on the road and take on a very good Dominican team.”
Breaking out to a quick 10-3 lead in the opening game, Mandeville finished Game 1 on a 7-0 run to take a 25-13 victory.
After briefly falling behind 1-0 in the second game, the Skippers used an 18-5 run to take command of the match at 2-0. The Skippers never trailed in the third game to advance to the showdown against Dominican for berth in the state tournament at the Ponchartrain Center.
“I’m excited about the challenge of facing those guys,” Walker said. “It is going to be a fun match and is not going to be a pushover by any means. Dominican is a powerhouse school and program. We have had some great matches and history against those guys. It is going to be fun and it is going to give us a good opportunity to go down there and see what we have.”