Advocate Photo by Brad Kemp St. Thomas More player Kathleen Alexander hits the ball against Rayne's Charlyne Peltier in a volleyball jamboree Wednesday at Teurlings Catholic in Lafayette.

LAFAYETTE — St. Thomas More’s volleyball team, the defending Division II champions, picked up right where they left off last year in their three-game sweep Wednesday at Teurlings on the first day of the Teurlings Catholic/ESA Jamboree.

The Cougars defeated Rayne 25-13 in their first match; Ascension Episcopal School 25-21 in their second match and beat Notre Dame 25–16 in the finale.

Despite the win, St. Thomas More coach Jessica Burke said there is room for improvement.

“Our goal is to get better every time we take the court,” she said. “We need to work on our relationships on the defensive side and (the jamboree) gives us that chance. The local competition has really gotten better, and we enjoy playing (in the jamboree).”

The Cougars offensive prowess proved too much, though, as numerous times Victoria Landry or Caroline Adams would set up Morgan Vincent, Melanie Zimmer, Kathleen Alexander, Michaela Smith, Molly Jacobsen or Maddy Aucoin for a kill.

“We had our (offensive) mojo today,” Burke said.

Aucoin also said how this event will help mold their season.

“We have some new talent,” she said. “It was good to get in game situations to see we what we can do as a team. It gave us a chance to play to our ability. I think we will have a good season.”

The exhibition also gave AES coach Jill Braun a chance to find out about her team. After Ascension Christian held a 21-16 lead on Rayne in the first match of the day, the Lady Wolves then went on a 10-3 run, highlighted by kills from Layni Boudreaux, Tristan Mouton and Blair Bergeron to beat Ascension Christian 26-24.

Ascension Episcopal then got off to a slow start in their second match, falling behind to St. Thomas Moore 17-8 before going on a furious tear, where they were only behind by two points twice late in the game; at 22-20 and 23-21 before ultimately falling. They then beat Notre Dame 26-22 in their last match.

“St. Thomas More and Notre Dame are great programs, and Rayne is very good this year,” she said. “This is great competition. I told the girls I was proud of them how they battled back. That says a lot about their character.”

She mentioned she was pleased with how Addie Vidrine, an eighth-grader played, as well as Sydney Vidrine and Mary Catherine Franques.

Notre Dame picked up their win by defeating Rayne 25-14. The Pios got off to a 6-0 score with Sammi Leger serving. Olivia Barbin later added back-to-back aces, and Paityn Desselle had three kills for Notre Dame.

“This is good for everyone,” Braun said. “It is a chance to see your weaknesses as well as your strengths.”