Entering the first round of the high school volleyball playoffs, Cabrini High School was trying to master the timing between its middle blockers and setter Joey Alsandor.
Cabrini, seeded No. 9, continued to improve on that all-important aspect, advancing to the Division II regional round by defeating No. 24 Landry-Walker at home 25-9, 25-12, 25-22.
Rakell Spencer led Cabrini with 10 kills. Emma Petta and Bailey Hepting added four apiece. Hepting also had 15 assists and six aces.
“I feel like (our timing) gets better every game,” Spencer said. “We have to have a winning attitude, no matter who we play, that we’re going to beat them. On a given day, we can beat anybody.”
Cabrini (20-18) advances to play eighth-seeded Central of Baton Rouge in the second round. The match will 5 p.m. Monday at Central.
Central, like all of the top eight seeds, had first-round bye.
Alsandor said she believes there’s still time to tweak Cabrini’s weakness and make it a strength.
“I wish we would have gotten it during the beginning of the season so we wouldn’t have these growing pains now,” she said. “But right now, it’s each day, each set getting better.”
Better timing between Alsandor and her middle blockers will make everything smother for the Cabrni offense, including play on the edges with her outside hitters.
The Crescents were far from perfect against Landry-Walker, failing to continue their early momentum after the first game.
Coach Greg Castillo played reserves in the third set, watching the unit fall behind by as much as four points before rallying.
“We played OK, but then again, we also had some serving errors that we shouldn’t,” Castillo said. “Especially when you’re in the playoffs, you don’t want to give the other team easy points like that.”
Landry-Walker tried to capitilize, but coach Sheryl Eaglin had hoped her team’s late effort would have started earlier.
“When you’re dealing with a playoff situation, you can’t wait until midway through the second set, or the third set to play,” said Eaglin, who will lose three seniors — two starters — to graduation.
“When you come out and play volleyball from the beginning, you’ll always have a chance to win. I think we waited too late to get started.”
Brionne Houston led Landry-Walker (12-25) in kills with four. Autumn Williams added six digs. Anthanisha Danndridge had six assists, and Keion Lewis had one block.