Common thought says that the ranked Division II team most often will defeat the ranked Division IV team.
Not on Tuesday night, though.
Hannan, ranked seventh in the New Orleans Advocate’s Sweet 16 Small School volleyball rankings, earned a convincing win over Ben Franklin (second in the large school rankings,) in straight sets in a nondistrict match at the Hannan gym near Covington. The final was 27-25, 25-22, 26-24.
And as resounding as the victory was, Hannan coach Rebekah Bonnafee thinks her team can get better.
“This wasn’t our best match of the year,” she said. “Happy? Absolutely. But we can be a better team.”
Leading Hannan (3-0) was sophomore Hailey Cabeceiras who had 24 kills and 19 digs.
“I’m really happy with today,” she said. “Everything came together (Tuesday). It was nice to see everything come together and for everyone to work together. (We are young) but the chemistry — sometimes it doesn’t matter how much experience you have. It can be more like having knowledge of the sport. So, I think that is going to help us a lot this year.”
The first set was evenly matched, with both making a run at the lead early. Ben Franklin, however, got a five-point lead on the front-row play of Allison Olsonoski and solid serving. The push allowed Ben Franklin to open a 19-14 edge, but Hannan would not relinquish.
The Hawks, powered by the front-line play of Cabeceiras, stormed back to take a 22-21 lead. The teams jockeyed for the lead until the final seconds of the set when a pair of Cabeceirias kills gave the home team the first set.
The second set also was a battle, but the Hawks — after trailing 12-8 — came back for the win. Allee Morris powered a kill to the center of an open defense to close the set and put Hannan ahead 2-0.
Hannan powered through the third set, taking a 17-9 lead. Ben Franklin (8-2) tied it at 24, but Morris knuckled a kill through the middle of the defense to give Hannan the lead. A service winner by Mikayla Boyer sealed the win.
“I think we made too many mistakes,” Ben Franklin coach Jodee Pulizzano said. “We were not good on serve receive all night. They served really well, and we were shanking balls everywhere.”
Olsonoski had 18 kills to lead the Falcons. Angela Higginson added 14 kills and Claire Molaison had 28 assists.
Tatum Ballard had 18 assists to set up the Hawks’ offense. Morris had 14 kills, and Daniele Loup had 20 digs.