In a match-up between rival Mandeville schools, it was the Skippers of Mandeville coming out victorious over Lakeshore 22-25, 25-17, 25-22 and 25-23 on Thursday.
Sam Gomez led Mandeville (4-5) with 13 kills and Kailynn Haley had 11 kills and five aces. Sarah Rinuado and Brandi Bundy each had 18 assists and Ali Leblanc had 18 digs.
Marissa Lecompte led the Skippers with six blocks.
Lakeshore (6-3) was led by Erin Schenck’s 12 kills and 10 kills from Julia Dean. Dean also had seven blocks. Shannon Farrell added 37 assists.
Connecting for nine aces for the match, Mandeville Head Coach Jody Walker said his team’s ability to serve was one of the biggest differences in the game.
“We served tough today,” Walker said. “I was very pleased with the way we served. We have been working very hard on serving tough because people don’t realize that it is one of the easiest ways to score points. It makes it tough on your opponent if you are able to score points when you serve, not just on returns.”
A battle between two evenly matched squads, the Skippers recovered from a 25-22 loss in game one to easily capture game two, 25-17.
Haley said she and her teammates wanted to immediately respond to the game one defeat.
“After that first game our bench said we are not going to go down like this and they kept us in the game mentally,” she said. “It really got us going and we got off to a great start in game two and we never looked back.
“We served the ball well and got into a good flow of getting a lot of kills. We just were able to make adjustments after the first game and come out and play Mandeville volleyball like we want.”
The Skippers took command of the match in the third game, winning 25-22. Mandeville finished the third set on a 6-3 run after the match was tied at 19-19 to take command of the contest.
Fighting off a furious rally that saw the Titans come back from 21-16 to tie the match at 23-23, Mandeville scored the final two points to take the match.
“It was a tough match,” Walker said. “Lakeshore is a very good team. This is a valuable win for us. We feel fortunate to come over here and beat a very good Titan squad.”
Mandeville’s next match will be on Monday when they travel to Northlake Christian while Lakeshore travels to take part in the Dutchtown Tournament on Friday.
“We talked about learning from this experience and applying those lessons this weekend at Dutchtown,” Titans Head Coach Jennifer Hebert said. “If we don’t learn anything, then this is a complete loss. I told my team that we must build up some mental toughness. If we can be better from this loss, then it is going to be a win in the end.”