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ESJ falls to Lady Braves for second straight year

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 16, 1998

KENNER – H.L. Bourgeois took advantage of early nervousness by East St.John to eliminate the Lady Cats from the District I state bi-district volleyball playoffs with a 15-8, 15-6 win Wednesday afternoon at the Pontchartrain Center.

H.L. Bourgeois, the District 7-I runners-up with a 28-10 record, lost to Mt.Carmel, 15-7, 15-5, in the regionals Thursday afternoon. East St. John,the District 8-I champions, finished its season at 17-11.

Bourgeois got a point before the match started when an unnecessary delay was called on the Lady Cats. A kill by Kelly Hutchinson and two Lady Caterrors made it 4-0 on the Lady Braves’ first serve. After Bourgeois pulledahead to a 7-2 advantage on an ace by Candice Ganaway and a kill by Hutchinson, East St. John rallied with a block by Maria Lainez to pull towithin three.

Bourgeois came back on its next serve with three East St. John errors anda kill by Maria Hutchinson to pull ahead 12-4. East St. John once againrallied to within four on a block by Lainez and a kill and an ace by Tammy Gunter. But two East St. John errors and a block by Maria Hutchinson gavethe Lady Braves the game.

H.L. Bourgeois again jumped out early in the second game, using two killsby Kelly Hutchinson and a dink by Maria Hutchinson to take a 3-0 lead. Twokills by Ginny Landry made it 5-2 but the Lady Cats hung in, tying the score at 5 on a dink by Gunter and two Lady Brave errors. Maria Hutchinsonthen took over two serves later, delivering three kills, a tip and a block to increase the lead to 14-5. Hutchinson ended the match a serve later with aspike.

Maria Hutchinson led all players with 14 kills and four blocks. KellyHutchinson added two aces and 14 digs while Ganaway set up the offense with 22 assists.

For the Lady Cats, Kayatanna Brown had seven kills and three blocks.

Gunter contributed two aces and 15 digs while Lainez had seven assists.

It was the second straight season that Bourgeois knocked the Lady Cats from the state tournament in the bi-district round.

“The difference was that Bourgeois didn’t freeze up and played their normal game,” East St. John coach Toni Robinet said. “We were totallynervous. I was disappointed because last year was the year to have thejitters. I didn’t expect us to come out nervous and make mistakes. We gavethem momentum and Bourgeois came out to play.”

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