PRAIRIE RONDE — With high expectations and an abundance of talent, the excellence bar has been raised to a high level for the Iota volleyball team.
Given those circumstances, Bulldogs volleyball coach Leah Andrus wouldn’t have it any other way. Iota got that point across Tuesday afternoon.
The Bulldogs cruised through their Division III, District 3 match with Northwest, sweeping the Raiders 25-9, 25-8, 25-11 in a match that lasted less than an hour.
It was Iota’s 10th victory in the last 12 matches. The Bulldogs, 24-6 and 5-2 in district, aren’t shy about what they want to accomplish.
“There’s really no pressure for us to do well and maintain that standard,” Iota outside hitter Erika Manuel said. “We’ve been playing together for a long time, and we’ve gotten to the state tournament every year since we’ve been sophomores.”
Andrus said the small Acadia Parish community has come to accept a tradition of success in girls sports. Volleyball is no exception, she said.
“The girls have learned a lot since they have been in the program and they know that the coaches and the school expects a lot from girls sports,” Andrus said.
“We have a good talent level and our girls are very athletic. We have six seniors and all of them can play. Most of them have been in the program since they were in middle school and then when they come here, they learn a lot more to perform on this level,” Andrus said.
Andrus said the Bulldogs have added Lindsey Simar to the volleyball coaching staff. The players said that Simar’s emphasis on fundamentals and developing the more intricate parts of the game have provided an enormous help.
“She (Seymour) focuses us on the little things,” said setter Jillian Boone. “We learned this summer that there is really no weakness because no one is stronger than the other player.”
Boone said the Bulldogs play in a tough district that includes perennial powerhouse Teurlings Catholic and Rayne, which defeated Iota earlier this year.
Andrus said one of the disappointments in the season so far have been consecutive losses to Rayne in matches two days apart.
After losing to Rayne in the Northside tournament Sept. 13, the Bulldogs were beat by the Wolves in a district match 3-2.
Teurlings swept Iota 25-9, 25-7, 26-24 in the district match.
“We’ve had a successful season, but there have been some bumps in the road,” Andrus said.
After two easy sets Tuesday, Iota got busy in the third, despite falling behind 7-6.
Iota won 18 of the next 23 points to end the match.
Madeline Gatte finished with 13 kills. Boone had six kills and nine aces. Cambri St. Andre had 14 aces, while Mallory Faul provided 29 assists.