GONZALES — There are times when it’s good for a team to shake things up just a bit.
Whether the orange jerseys or the lineup changes made a difference are points for debate.
After splitting the first two sets, St. Amant High ended all discussions. The Gators shut down rival East Ascension in the final two sets to claim a 3-1 victory in Division I, District 4 volleyball action Tuesday night at EAHS.
“I expected us to have some mistakes because of the new lineup,” St. Amant coach Allison Leake said. “I think you saw that some in the second set. They’re still getting used to who they’re playing next to.
“This was a first time that I’ve seen a good mix of kills from people and hitting in the positive. And our defense was pretty good too.”
With the win, the Gators (14-9, 5-0) remain unbeaten in district.
The win gave St. Amant a sweep of East Ascension (17-11, 3-2) during what is rivalry week for the schools.
The teams made some notable hits prior to Friday’s District 4-5A football showdown with St. Amant winning 25-18, 23-25, 25-12 and 25-19.
Maggie Duplechein helped lead the way with 14 kills, 14 assists and 12 digs; while Kourney Gremillion added 20 assists, 12 digs and 11 kills.
Jessie Watts had 11 digs and 8 kills for the Spartans. Emily Venable added 22 assists and 16 digs.
“We couldn’t really pass the ball on serve and receive and didn’t play like a team tonight,” EAHS coach Jamie Gilmore said. “They played well. I just don’t think we did our job and now we have to regroup to play Denham Springs tomorrow. That’s next.”
Leake copied the football playbook when she bought jerseys in a bright hunter’s orange. The Gators have orange football jerseys, while East Ascension typically opts for camouflage look. The lineup changes moved players to new spots/rotations, proving a different form of camo.
St. Amant led 5-1 lead in set 1. Duplechein, who recently returned from a knee injury, provided some early kills that got the offense going.
East Ascension got within three at 17-14. The Gators roll off eight of the final 12 points. A kill by Gremillion clinched the 25-18 win.
East Ascension started fast in second set. St. Amant took the lead briefly, but a series of serve-receive errors gave the Spartans the opening they needed.
Aysia Thomas and Watts had some success blocking Duplechein and others at the net. St. Amant got within one at 24-23. Caitlin Henderson’s kill clinched a 25-23 win.
After that, St. Amant put it all together.
“We kind of got used to the lineup at that point,” Gremillion said. “It’s never an easy game against EA and we had to bring it.”
Duplechein added, “I felt like I was able to put the ball away and get us on a roll with points.”
The Gators built a double-digit lead in the third set and won 25-12. St. Amant started fast in the final set. The Gators led 9-4 early, thanks to three kills by Duplechein and one by Madison Anderson.
SAHS scored four key points to boost their lead to 18-11. Gremillion eventually ended it with another kill.