St. Scholastica has been one of the better volleyball teams in the metro area throughout this season.
So it was only fitting that on the team’s Senior Night, the Doves would cap a perfect district record on their court.
SSA defeated Lakeshore 25-14, 25-17, 23-25, 25-14 in downtown Covington on Thursday night in a Division II, District 4 match. The win earned SSA (21-8, 6-0) a district championship.
SSA (21-8, 6-0) is No. 5 in the New Orleans Advocate’s Sweet 16 Large School rankings. They will play Country Day in a postseason tuneup next week. Lakeshore, ranked No. 7 in the New Orleans Advocate rankings, still has a district match remaining against Salmen next week, as well as nondistrict tuneups against Hannan and Pope John Paul II.
The Titans were expected to earn a high seed in the Division II playoffs; regardless of Thursday night’s outcome against SSA.
Meanwhile, the Doves may have helped their already impressive power ranking with the win against Lakeshore. They played well against the Titans from start to finish, and looked especially crisp, considering they’ve played nearly 30 matches in less than two months.
After the hiccup in the third set, SSA clamped down and dominated the fourth set.
“I am so stoked,” said defensive specialist Annie Schwartz, one of eight SSA seniors. “We knew we could do this from the start. Now we just have to our mind ready for the playoffs.”
Senior hitter Gabby Chaix agreed and said her team’s goals now expand.
“We just need to stay focused,” she said. “We came out really focused in this one. … We’ve done really well. We just need to keep improving. We have to take it one game at a time.”
“One point at a time,” Schwartz chimed in.
SSA opened up a 10-5 lead in the first set. With the Doves’ lead toggling between four and five points for a stretch, the home team finally opened the set up to 23-14. A nifty cross-court kill by Allison Weimar, and a Chaix block closed the first game.
SSA jumped to an early lead in the second set and pulled ahead quickly. Chaix sent a powerful kill to the middle of the court for an 11-4 lead, and a tip to almost the same place gave the Doves a 12-4 advantagee and forced a Lakeshore timeout. The Doves capped the second set on a pair of kills by Weimar and another kill by Alexis Colomb.
Lakeshore played gamely in the third, breaking open a 21-21 tie on a tip. An unforced SSA error at the net and a kill by Lakeshore’s Ali Bernard kept the match going.
Thursday’s match marked the first time the Doves lost a set in district this season.
Caroline Golden led Lakeshore with 23 digs and 15 kills. Rebekah Koshak had 24 assists and Victoria Caruso and Brianna Blackshear teamed for 31 digs.
“In both of our matches against SSA, we’ve just started out slow,” Lakeshore coach Jennifer Hebert said. “We keep making errors, keep making errors. … I tracked every point today to show the team that we are earning our points and helping them (sometimes) get theirs. Although (SSA) had a ton of kills, we’re helping them (by making so many errors).