GONZALES — Sisters Alli and Maggie Duplechein had 10 kills each to help lead St. Amant to a 3-0 volleyball victory over East Ascension on Monday night in the Division I, District 3 opener for both teams.
Another pair of sisters, Kara and Kourtney Gremillion, help keep two-thirds of the St. Amant starting lineup all in the family. Alli and Kara are seniors, while Kourtney Gremillion is a junior and Maggie Duplechein a sophomore.
All four helped lead the Gators to 25-19, 25-17 and 25-15 victories.
St. Amant improved to 13-7 and 1-0 in district. The Gators were state semifinalists in 2013. EAHS drops to 13-8 and 0-1.
Kourtney Gremillion (six kills, 14 assists, four aces) and Maggie Duplechein (10 kills, 14 assists, three aces, four digs) add versatility to the team.
“We count on Maggie and Kourtney to hit and set,” St. Amant coach Allison Leake said. “When both of them are on, we get some great things going on offense. There aren’t a whole lot of players that can hit and set.”
St. Amant played seven matches in the past week and Leake said her team was a little slower in its attack.
“We’ve played better, but a win is a win,” Leake said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
East Ascension’s Emily Venable scored on a cross shot to cut the St. Amant lead to 22-18 in the first set. The Gators scored three of the next four points.
St. Amant raced to an 11-1 lead in the second set. The Spartans battled back to within five points on two occasions.
EAHS got a nice tip shot from Caitlin Henderson to cut the St. Amant lead to 6-5 in the third set. St. Amant later went on an 11-4 run to push its lead to 24-13. Alli Duplechein and senior Victoria Howell scored two points in that run.
Venable (six assists, seven digs), Jesse Watts (four kills, four digs) and Claire Weinberger led EAHS.
“St. Amant is a good team,” EAHS coach Jamie Gilmore said. “I don’t think we played our best today. My hitters were a little off, but they hustled and played hard. We’re trying to work on coming together as a team.”
Gilmore said she was impressed with the back row play of Kara Gremillion.
“Kara Gremillion runs the backcourt, so if you hit it anywhere near her, she’s getting the ball up,” Gilmore said.