In many cases, the difference between good teams and really good teams is the latter takes care of the little things when it must.
That’s what St. Scholastica did Wednesday night. Slidell, leading 2 sets to 1, saw its service game fall apart. That was the difference in the Doves’ 25-13, 23-25, 23-25, 26-24, 15-8 nondistrict home victory in Covington.
Leading 12-10 in the fourth set, the Tigers missed on seven serves. That allowed St. Scholastica to gain momentum and push to victory in what to that point had been an evenly-matched contest.
“If we serve game full, we win the match,” Slidell coach Michelle Anderson said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind. We have been struggling with this, playing really bad for a stretch. But (Wednesday), for the first time, we actually gathered ourselves and came back very nicely, played hard. And then in the fourth, we had four misses, an easy ball in, and three misses. That’s the difference.”
St. Scholastica, ranked fifth in the New Orleans Advocate’s large-school list, started strongly in a first-set win. But the Tigers front court began to the dictate pace, and the Doves sputtered. Momentum was fully on Slidell’s side until the serving miscues in the fourth set.
“I think we came out a little flat, but we picked it up in the end,” said junior middle Allison Weimer, who had 15 kills and three blocks for SSA.
Senior middle Gabby Chaix (16 kills, four blocks,) said the team needs to be ready from the start.
“I think we have to take it play by play, and focus our energy,” Chaix said. “I think we can’t come out flat. We need to be able to dig deeper, quicker. It’s been a problem for us in a couple games.”
Slidell (8-5) had a lead in every set except the fifth against St. Scholastica (9-5.) After losing the first set, they seemed like a different team in the next two. A kill by Morgan Authement ended the second set, and a running kill at midcourt by Jaslyn Bright closed the third.
But that’s when things turned for the Tigers. The fourth set was tied at 24, but Chaix powered consecutive kills into the heart of the Slidell defense to clinch the tying set. Buoyed by the rally, St. Scholastica eased into the win in the final points.
“We expect to win and we got it done, so I’m very happy with that,” SSA coach Andrew Beyer said. “We had a lull in our energy, but we overcame it.”
Maddie Morris had 32 assists for the Doves and Molly Brown had 20. Kellie Garraway added 14 digs and five aces in the victory.