ST. AMANT — St. Amant coach Allison Leake was looking for consistency Wednesday night when the Gators hosted Dutchtown for a key Division I, District 3 volleyball match, and she liked what she saw.
Led by Kourtney Gremillion’s eight kills and 15 assists, St. Amant held on to sole possession of first place with a 3-0 win by scores of 25-21, 25-12 and 25-19.
With the win, St. Amant improved to 22-10, 6-0 in district with two league games against Denham Springs to go. Dutchtown (22-15, 4-2) held on to second place, but needs to defeat Denham Springs and third-place East Ascension to remain there.
“We played up and down this past Saturday, but I’m really excited about how we played today,” Leake said comparing her team’s effort to a 2-3 showing last weekend at the Cabrini High tournament.
“On Saturday, when we played well it was really, really well, but when we didn’t it was not good at all. Today, I’m really happy about seeing consistency throughout the match.”
That consistency was helped by Alli Duplechain (seven kills and two blocks) and Maggie Duplechain (five kills, 12 assists, two aces). Kara Gremillion also had two aces, and a team-high 19 digs.
Kristen Thompson topped Dutchtown with 10 kills and two blocks. The Griffins also got 15 assists from Sena DeLuca, and 12 digs from Rachael Mizell.
“St. Amant is a polished team, battle tested,” Dutchtown coach Patrick Ricks said. “A lot of the girls have been around for a while in coach Allison’s system.
“They took advantage of a lot of the mistakes we made, as a good team should do. They did that the first time we played them, and they did that tonight, as well.”
St. Amant won at Dutchtown on Oct. 6 also by a 3-0 score. Ricks said he didn’t notice a lot of difference between the two matches, but he was unhappy with his team’s passing Wednesday evening.
“The only difference (in the two matches) is our ball control was really, really bad tonight,” Ricks said. “We couldn’t pass on our serve receives, and we didn’t do a good job on defense.”
Dutchtown came into the contest having won nine of its previous 10 matches, and the Griffins began the match with confidence.
In Game 1, a pair of kills by Thompson helped Dutchtown take a 7-3 lead. Caroline Beeman’s kill helped the Griffins increase the advantage to 10-5 before St. Amant fought its way back.
There were six ties and three lead changes before the Gators took the lead for good at 19-18 following a Dutchtown hitting error. Victoria Howell’s kill finished off the 25-21 win for St. Amant.
The Gators took the early lead in Game 2, and were never headed. They led by seven points twice before moving out to a 20-10 lead. Two kills by Abby Gros and Alli Duplechain’s block helped close out a 25-12 St. Amant win.
There were seven ties in Game 3, the last at 17. St. Amant then scored seven consecutive points on Brianne Babin’s serve to seize control.
“I thought the first match was a lot cleaner by both teams,” Leake said. “This was definitely a battle. We probably served a little better, and kept them off balance more on serve receives.”