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Lady Cats continue rise with victory over Lutcher

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 9, 1998

RESERVE – The East St. John Lady Cats picked up where they left off lastseason Tuesday afternoon, defeating Lutcher, 15-8, 6-15, 16-14, on the opening day of the 1998 volleyball season.

The Lady Cats finished the 1997 season by going undefeated in district play and playing in the Pontchartrain Center for the state playoffs for the first time.

East St. John had that momentum going again early in the first gameagainst the Lady Bulldogs, jumping out to a 4-1 lead on an ace by Maria Lainez and three attack errors by the Lady Bulldogs. An ace by TheresaCambre and three consecutive blocks by Tammy Gunter increased the lead to 9-3 before Lutcher used a timeout.

After Lutcher pulled to within 10-6 on an ace by Laura Tregre, East St.

John pulled away again, taking a 13-6 lead on a block by Kayatanna Brown and an ace by Lainez. A cross-court spike by Jennifer Wright brought theLady Cats to game point which they got when the Lady Bulldogs were called for in the net on a tip by Breeze Vicknair.

Lutcher opened the second game on a 3-1 run behind a spike by Candice Millet and a block by Holly Hymel. Cindy Guidry then served an ace andBrooke Delaneuville added a kill to increase the lead to four.

East St. John rallied with Wright serving. An ace by Wright, a kill byGunter and a lift by the Lady Bulldogs on a spike by Wright gave the Lady Cats a 6-5 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs took the lead for good as Wright’s spike attempt went wide and the Lady Cats made five consecutive errors with Guidry serving.

After a timeout by the Lady Cats and two service breaks, Lutcher scored four consecutive points, ending the game on a kill by Delaneuville and a spike by Lainez that went long.

The Lady Cats opened the final game by breaking Millet’s serve on a kill by Brown and then taking a 2-0 lead on consecutive errors by the Lady Bulldogs. Lutcher rallied behind a tip by Millet and a block by Hymel totake a 4-2 lead.

East St. John regained the lead three breaks later on an ace by BrandiServen and an attacking error by the Lady Bulldogs. The lead continued tobounce back and forth as Toni Riley served an ace to give Lutcher a 7-6 lead. Four service breaks later, Delaneuville served two aces to increasethe lead to 10-6.

East St. John again rallied, pulling to within 10-9 on an ace by Cambre andan error on Lutcher. The rallied continued as Brown delivered a cross-court spike and then put one into the left corner to tie the score at 12.

Lutcher again surged ahead and pulled to within game point on an ace by Tiffany Griffin and an attack error by the Lady Cats.

But the Lady Cats refused to quit, breaking the Lady Bulldogs’ serve and tying the score on errors by the Lady Bulldogs. After an error by Lutcherbrought the Lady Cats to game point and a time out, East St. John got thematch winner as the Lady Bulldogs returned wide.

East St. John coach Toni Robinet was making her debut as coach aftertaking over for Perry DiCarlo. Robinet said the team still has to correctsome mistakes but that she sees the player only getting better.

“We have not reached our potential,” Robinet said. “I am eager to see whatthey can do. The players are excited that they know they can do better.”For years the competition have really been out of our league in these kind of games. At least now we can compete. It gives us confidence when weplay the home teams and beat them. They are excited about this.”Lutcher coach Denise Riley said that there have been many changes made on the team since their playoff appearance last season and that she is still trying to find the right players at the right spots. But Riley said sheis confident the team will start to look like the Lutcher teams of old.

“We are still not set,” Riley said. “But I have faith in them. They willcome around.”

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