ST. AMANT — St. Joseph’s Academy and St. Amant appeared headed to a split during the first four sets of their volleyball match Tuesday night.
Trailing 2-1 in in the fourth set, St. Amant led 20-15 but was unable to hold off the Redstickers, who won 10 of the next 13 points to clinch the match 25-16, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23.
“Unfortunately we were in a situation where we were down, but it shows a lot about our integrity and character that we were able to come back against a good team,” SJA coach Sivi Miller said. “It was a fun game to watch — a lot of digs, a lot of blocking — but our expectations are higher. We need to play better.”
St. Joseph’s (8-8) was led by Julia Dwelle (14 kills, two blocks), Olivia Reames (10 kills, 17 digs, one block) and Simone Moreau (26 digs, two aces). Senior setter Katie Polson finished with 19 assists and five digs, and credited the Redstickers difficult schedule for having them ready.
“It has helped us learn the things we need to work with the offense,” Polson said. “We’re focused on getting the right lineup and coming together as a team.”
St. Amant (6-5) was paced by Gracie Duplechein's 13 kills, 16 assists, four blocks and 14 digs. Elaina Anderson had 10 kills and six blocks and Aubrey Dwane added 11 kills, two blocks and nine digs.
There were bright spots for the Gators despite a slow start. After dropping the first set, St. Amant trailed 22-10 in the second. Two kills and a block by Anderson helped the Gators win the next six points as they got as close as 23-18 before losing the set.
It created momentum St. Amant carried over into the third set, which the Gators led for most of the way before winning the set 25-21. St. Amant led in the fourth set 16-10 and later 20-15 before the Redstickers rallied.
“We had some new people in positions tonight, some of our younger ones, and it took us a while to get them comfortable with the other kids on the court,” St. Amant coach Allison Leake said.
“We were a completely different team in the third and fourth set. We weren’t able to pull out the win in the fourth set, but that was some of the best that we’ve played, especially on defense.”