CENTRAL — Central was tested in the first two sets but fought off Zachary to win 3-1 in non-district volleyball action Monday.
The Division II Wildcats (18-5) defeated Division I Zachary 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-11 to extend their winning streak to four games.
CHS coach Michele Lebouef said the team found its spark at the right moment.
“We started off slow, first but it was really an exciting and emotional match,” Lebouef said. “We started slow and ended fast, and that was the difference. We really didn’t have anyone with a bad game. Everyone played well.”
Junior Jordan Stephens led CHS with 18 kills, four digs and two blocks. Seniors Kaitlyn and Kelsey Cooke combined for 14 digs, 37 assists, three kills, six blocks and one ace. Sophomore Natalie Cox added 12 kills and four digs.
After taking the first set, the Broncos (16-8) forced five late ties in the second game but couldn’t overcome team errors.
“We had some ups and downs as a team,” Zachary coach Madeline Blanchard-Gugich said. “Tonight we made a lot of errors on ourselves. Errors that normally on a good day we wouldn’t make. We’re going to learn from this, come back in our next game and play even stronger.”
Zachary’s Leanne Sorrel added 10 kills, 11 digs, 19 assists and two blocks. Aria Williams nine kills, six digs and four blocks while Kenedi Stephens pitched in nine digs and one ace.
The Broncos jumped out to a 6-2 start in the first game behind strong serves from Sorrel. Central’s duo of Stephens and Cook followed with a comeback to take the lead at 7-6. The teams traded points before Zachary pulled away at 19-15. After six straight Bronco points to push the lead to 24-17, the Wildcats added three points before a dig by Lauren Kinchen to seal the set.
Central climbed to an 18-11 lead in the second game before Zachary punched in the next three points to cut the lead to four. But the Broncos pushed the game to extra points forcing five back-to-back ties. The Wildcats scored the winning point on a Bronco error.
CHS trailed only once in the third game fighting to a 17-12 lead. The Broncos forced a tie at 18, but were unable to match points with CHS which climbed to 24-23 lead before taking the game on another Zachary error.
The Wildcats surged to a 14-7 lead in the final game. CHS scored the next nine points. The Wildcats’ front line played well registering three blocks in the period. Zachary added four more points before Stephens took the match for the Silver and Maroon with a kill.
“We always get excited to play Zachary.” Lebouef said. “We’re very well matched teams. We’re essentially the same team on both sides.”