St. Michael showed it knows how to finish off games Tuesday evening at the Warriors gym.
The final tally showed that St. Michael defeated Division III, District 6 volleyball rival Parkview Baptist 3-0, but the battle was contested on even terms for most of the match. The main variable was quality play at the end of each game.
St. Michael made just enough plays when the games were on the line, and edged Parkview by scores of 27-25, 26-24 and 25-18.
The win keeps St. Michael (17-7, 4-1) a game behind district leader Lutcher. The Warriors will try to avenge a five-game loss to the Bulldogs when they travel to Lutcher on Thursday.
“We kind of struggled with our serving and serve receiving, but we showed a lot of moxie and found a way to get it done,” St. Michael coach Rob Smith said. “I really thought this would go four or five (games). Parkview is a very good team, so we’ll take it.”
Parkview (17-10, 3-3), at times, has had issues with intensity, but it showed plenty of fight against St. Michael. The Eagles were close to winning Games 1 and 2, but both times dropped the final two points to lose.
Game 3 was tied 17-17 before St. Michael pulled away to close the match.
“I thought both teams played very well,” Parkview coach Becky Madden said. “I thought St. Michael made fewer critical errors at the end of each game. That was the difference.”
St. Michael’s win came on Senior Night, but it was a pair of underclassmen that led the way. Junior Savannah Wininger had 10 kills, nine digs and two blocks. Freshman middle blocker Amber Igiede had eight kills and four blocks.
“Amber’s athletic ability gives us something that’s hard to defend because she can play so high,” Smith said. “Savannah was really good with first contact, her passing, and she hit a lot of different shots. She was able to keep the defense guessing.”
Claire Clifton and Sadie Edmonston each had 13 assists for St. Michael.
Parkview senior Wesley Ann Foreman topped the Eagles with 13 kills and three blocks. Neely Burns had 11 assists and nine digs while Hannah Fontenot added nine digs and two aces.
“We’ve been on a roller coaster, but (Tuesday night) we definitely showed more fight,” Madden said. “The critical errors at the end were what counted most.”
In Game 1, Parkview trailed 20-14, but two kills and a block by Foreman helped the Eagles tie the score at 23. After two more ties, Parkview’s Leah Collins hit wide and Edmonston sneaked a lob over the net for the final point.
The second game featured a St. Michael rally after Parkview led 19-14. The Warriors eventually broke a 24-24 tie on Allison Rodrigue’s block, and a Parkview hitting error.
St. Michael took a 17-12 lead in Game 3, but problems with its service return ohelped Parkview run off five points to tie the score. Kills by Lauryn Goff and Wininger helped the Warriors win eight of the final nine points.