St. Scholastica is second in the New Orleans Advocate’s Large Schools volleyball rankings. Hannan is second in the small schools list.
Something had to give when they met Thursday in a non-district match.
Hannan won the match in straight sets, 25-20, 25-23, 25-14 at SSA.
“Every good team we play like this gives us a really good feeling,” said Hannan outside hitter Hailey Cabeceiras, who had 13 kills, 10 digs and four aces. “We’re just trying to take out one big team at a time.”
The difference in the match came at the net. Hannan smacked 38 kills and only had 15 hitting errors. SSA had 23 kills but also 15 errors. SSA coach Andrew Beyer said only having a plus-eight differential won’t win matches against teams as talented as Hannan, which was last year’s Division IV runner-up.
“There were some things that let us down in the match,” Beyer said. “We didn’t pass well at the end of all three sets, and that’s obviously not going to get you a win. We have to play well at crunch time and execute at that point of the match.”
SSA (7-3) led in all three sets but couldn’t close the deal. The Doves opened the first set with a 7-2 run to take an 11-6 lead. Allison Weimer had a kill and a pair of blocks in the run, and Hannan called a timeout. The break settled the Hawks, and they clawed back and eventually got to within 18-17, which forced the Doves to call their own timeout. Hannan took the lead on a kill by Cabeceiras, followed by a pair of net errors by SSA.
Magill Grunfeld had a kill, and Mikayla Boyer laced a pair of winners to seal the set for the Hawks.
SSA took a 5-2 lead in the second, only to have Hannan rally again.
This time, Hannan (12-4) took advantage of a few SSA hitting errors and went ahead 11-7. The Doves came back and tied the it at 12 when Hannan made miscues of its own. The squads battled closely until the end of the set, but Hannan grabbed a two-set lead on a Cabeceiras kill.
It was SSA’s turn to rally in the third. Hannan stormed out to an 8-2 lead, but the Doves eventually led 11-10. Hannan answered emphatically with an 11-2 run that was sparked by a combination block from Cabeceiras and Sydney Williams and an ace by Danielle Loup. Hannan ended the match with two points on Tatum Ballard’s serve and another Cabeceiras put-away.
“When we played Country Day on Tuesday (in a straight-sets win,) we were just as level-headed tonight,” said Hannan coach Rebekka Bonnaffee. “We don’t want to play to too high or too low. When other teams go on runs, we don’t want to get disgusted with ourselves. That makes a difference.”
Ballard and Grace Lagalante combined for 32 of Hannan’s 38 assists. Ballard also had 10 digs, seven kills and four aces. Weimer led SSA with 12 kills, eight digs, five blocks and an ace. Molly Brown had 19 assists and Alexis Colomb added eight digs and two aces.