DUTCHTOWN — For the second straight weekend Louise McGehee visited the Baton Rouge area for a volleyball tournament, and for the second straight weekend they went home with a first-place trophy.
This week’s championship came in the 13th annual Dutchtown Invitational Tournament where the 15-0 Hawks fought off a strong three-set challenge by St. Amant in the semifinals, then bested Archbishop Hannan 25-16, 25-20 in the title match.
“I felt like we played like a team,” McGehee coach Val Whitfield-Dunn said. “We played like a team with heart and desire.”
The heart of that team in the final match was a front row led by senior Tylar Beckham and freshman Naya Gros at the middle blocker position.
“They’re officially 5-11, but I really think they’re more like 6-0 and 6-1,” Whitfield-Dunn said, but the two were imposing at the net, whatever their height. Beckham had 10 kills in the match, and Gros five more. Several of their kills came on two-handed placements of Hannan’s short shots.
The team effort that Whitfield-Dunn noted also included contributions from setter Julia Felix with 11 assists and Te’Ja Williams with eight assists and seven digs. Eighth-grader Jaida Felix, an outside hitter, displayed a strong serve, and at one point in the second set served six straight points, including an ace, as the Hawks took an a 21-12 lead .
From that point Hannan, led by Hannah Summersgill’s three kills, went on an 8-4 run, but the deficit was too great to overcome.
“They’re a tough opponent,” Hannan coach Rebekka Bonnaffee said. “They serve receive well, serve well, and play defense well. Up until this match we had played well, but against a good team the day finally got to us and the bottom dropped out.”
Summersgill finished with eight kills for Hannan. Hailey Cabeceiras also had eight kills to go with 12 digs. Setter Tatum Ballard had 17 assists, and Danielle Loup contributed 10 digs.
The first set was evenly played until an 8-4 McGehee run midway through the game. Hannan could never string together more than two consecutive points against the McGehee defense.
“This was our first time to come to the Dutchtown Tournament and what nice competition it was,” Whitfield Dunn said. “Hannan has a great team. St. Amant is tough team that plays great defense.”
The Hawks had to go three sets to top U-High for last week’s championship, but they didn’t have to face the Lady Cubs again after Zachary bested U-High in pool play.
Each of the pool winners, which also included Lakeshore, Lutcher and Zachary, finished pool play with 3-0 records.
In bracket play Lutcher defeated Lakeshore 25-23, 19-25 and 15-5 before falling to Hannan 26-24, 19-25, and 15-5 in the semifinals.
St. Amant bounced Zachary 25-15, 30-28 before falling to McGehee 28-26, 21-25, 15-10 in the semis.
Hannan dropped to 10-2 with the loss.