Seventh-seeded Dominican might have swept No. 10 Mandeville at home Monday 25-18, 25-23, 25-23, but the Division I regional match was not decided until the 24-23 mark of the third set.
Dominican (27-15) advances to play No. 2 Mount Carmel in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, which begin Thursday at the Pontchartrain Center.
Mandeville (20-14) held the lead for much of the third and the Skippers’ largest advantage was 18-6.
“We came out a little slow,” Dominican coach Jessica Chatellier said. “We kind of let them control the game in the third game. I told them in the huddle, we’re playing scared and I didn’t know why. We were up two games. We should have been controlling the match.”
Mandeville’s Sam Gomez hit the ball past two Dominican defenders and that extended the Skippers’ advantage to 20-15. Dominican then cut the deficit to 23-22. Following Dominican’s Hannah McGowan making a kill that tied the match at 23-23, Dominican scored again for its first lead.
“They went out and they fought,” Chatellier said. “They controlled the match for the rest of the time. We were down 18-6 and they fought back hard.
“It took a lot of discipline. It took them digging deep and playing some defense. Defense was the key in that game.”
McGowan led Dominican with 10 kills, while Abby Buchert had seven. Sara Bordelon had 12 digs and 10 assists, while Marli Baquet had eight. Laura Lorio had three blocks.
Gomez led the Skippers with nine kills, while Emily Boylan had seven. Sarah Rinaudo had 17 assists, while Reagan Rogers had 16 digs. LeCompte finished with 11 blocks and 11 digs.
“They were getting a lot of blocks against our hitters,” Mandeville coach Jody Walker said. “We weren’t able to transition and get some points off of that.”
Relaxing after leads also hurt Mandeville.
“We jumped out on them in every one of the games,” Walker said. “We were up four points in all three games. I said we just wanted to continue the same thing that we were doing and just push. We got those leads earlier and it’s almost like we relaxed.”
In the first set, Mandeville opened a 4-0 scoring run when a Kailynn Haley spike got the first point. While the Dominican offense cranked up, the Skippers still maintained the lead and increased it to 5-3 on a LeCompte hit.
Dominican later went on a 5-0 run and that ended when McGowan’s hit tied the score at 11-11.
That’s when Dominican took over and maintained the lead although Boylan scored twice, once at 24-17, the other at 24-18 to try and stymie Dominican’s win.