In a match up between St. Tammany Parish rivals, Mandeville defeated Northlake Christian in three games 25-6, 25-18 and 25-16 in prep volleyball action Monday afternoon.
Ranked No. 7 in The New Orleans Advocate’s large school poll, Mandeville (5-5) was led by Sam Gomez’s 10 kills and two blocks. Marissa Lecompte also had seven kills for the Lady Skippers, and Emily Boylan and Sarah Rinaudo had six kills apiece.
Kailynn Haley also added five aces and Ali LeBlanc finished with a team-high 15 digs.
Only a sophomore, Gomez said her team’s ability to effectively serve is one of the biggest reasons for their recent winning streak.
“I would have to say one of the biggest reasons we have gotten better is our serving,” Gomez said after the match. “We have been practicing really hard and now are starting to see the good results.”
Mandeville raced out to a 9-1 lead in the first game en route to the three-game sweep. The Lady Skippers trailed only 3-2 in the second game before pulling away and never trailed in the final game of the match.
With district play set to begin on Tuesday against Ponchatoula, Gomez said she believes her squad will be ready.
“We are definitely getting it and are playing our best volleyball heading into the start of district play,” she said. “I believe we will be ready for Ponchatoula. I’m excited about the start of district play and ready to see how it plays out.”
Ranked No. 6, in The New Orleans Advocate’s small school poll, Northlake Christian (4-3) was led by Lexi White who had seven kills, 15 digs and four blocks. Alaina Hardy also added seven kills, 12 digs and three aces.
A disappointed Northlake Christian coach Shannon Puder said her team must eliminate mistakes if they are to be successful the rest of the season.
“We made way too many mistakes tonight in our serving and return of serves,” she said. “If you can’t pass or return serves, then you are not going to win many volleyball matches. The biggest thing is this team must stay mentally confident and not give up the minute something goes wrong. It is going to be up to this team to do it. We have to put what we learned in practice into a game.”