Teams only have three minutes between sets during a high school volleyball match. For Baton Rouge High, it was enough time for a proper attitude adjustment before the fourth set.
“I think it was just the fire we had,” BRHS’ Ava Ricks said of the final set. “After that (third) set, I think we just came together as a team. We passed a lot better. And we were able to hit a lot of quick sets … which dismantles the other defense just about every time.”
Ricks had a match-high 11 kills and 11 digs as the Bulldogs (4-1) raced out to a 7-0 lead in the fourth set and went on to close out a 3-1 victory over St. John on Friday night at BRHS.
The Division I Bulldogs won by scores of 25-15, 24-26, 25-22 and 25-16 over Division IV St. John (2-2) in the nondistrict matchup. Perri Evans had nine kills and four digs for the winners, while Krystal Moore contributed seven kills and three digs.
“They pushed us … they always do,” BRHS coach Dayna Kohn said. “You know when you play them, they are very scrappy and relentless. They go after every ball.
“In that last set, we came out with a different intensity. I think our consistency is something we need to work on. And we need to remember to play every point like it is the last one.”
Dannie Durand led St. John with seven kills and four aces. Katie Blanchard contributed 20 assists and two digs for the Plaquemine-based Eagles.
“(BRHS) came out hungry in that last set and we got a little lax,” St. John coach Caitlin Hester said. “After we won the second set, I think we relaxed a little. Definitely not our best passing day and gave up too many points with missed serves.
“Those things were momentum-killers for us. But this is a young group, and they’re still learning to play together and to play at this level.”
The Bulldogs jumped out to 12-4 lead in the first set and led by as much as nine. The Eagles turned the tables in the second set. St. John led 8-3 early and seemed to be in control.
With setter Grace Kato serving, Baton Rouge High went on a 10-2 run and led 23-21. St. John scored six of the final seven points. Isabella LoBue had the final kill for Eagles.
St. John led again in the third set. This time, Ricks helped the set the tone with a kill and by teaming with Evans a block that tied it 19-19. The Bulldogs went on a 6-3 run to set to build a 2-1 lead.