GONZALES — Dutchtown High School's volleyball team reached new heights with its 3-2 victory over feisty East Ascension on Wednesday night.
The Griffins claimed a share of the Division I, District 4 title along with St. Amant with identical 7-1 league records.
“I’m very proud of my team as this is the first Dutchtown volleyball team to win two district titles in a row,” DHS coach Patrick Ricks said. “We got down 2-1 and could have just given up. Once we started doing better at our serve receive that allowed us to get better passes to our setter. We could move it around then and started hitting. This is a great group of girls.”
Dutchtown (32-6) defeated East Ascension 25-18, 24-26, 13-25, 25-19 and 15-6.
East Ascension, which finished third in league at 4-4, put up a much tougher fight than the first meeting when the Griffins swept. East Ascension senior Diamond Jones and junior Truli Joseph were forces at the net against Dutchtown’s power hitters Zoe Wooten, Lauren Launey and India Bennett.
Jones finished with 23 kills, five aces and 10 digs. Joseph had 13 kills and 18 digs.
Wooten had a team-high 16 kills for DHS. Launey added 11 kills, six blocks and 11 digs. Bennett had five kills and 10 blocks. Senior Kristyn St. Pierre kept the offense going with 37 assists and 10 digs. Madison Lee added 10 digs.
“I thought we played well in first four sets,” EAHS coach Jamie Gilmore said. “In the fifth set, we didn’t do what we needed to do. We didn’t pass the ball. If you can’t pass, you’re not going to be able to hit.”
East Ascension led 17-10 in the second set. Dutchtown rallied to tie it at 20 on a Wooten ace. Dutchtown pulled ahead 23-21 as Launey and Bennett combined for a block. The Spartans rallied with Jones and her powerful jump serve. Jones landed two aces in a 5-1 run to end the match.
“Diamond Jones really served well,” Ricks said.
Dutchtown led 6-4 in the third set. EAHS battled back to take an 8-7 lead. The Spartans went on an 8-2 run and coasted from there.
Dutchtown led 9-1 in the fourth set. East Ascension cut the deficit to 22-18 on a deep tip by Jones.
Dutchtown led 3-0 and 8-2 in the fifth set. Jones connected on a cross shot to cut the deficit to 9-6. With Anna Pavleszek serving, Dutchtown closed the match on a 6-0 run. Bennett had two blocks in that run.