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Lady Pioneers eliminate Lutcher from tournament

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 16, 1998

KENNER – Notre Dame jumped out to an early lead and never let Lutcher get its offense going in eliminating the Lady Bulldogs from the LHSAA bi- district playoffs with a 15-5, 15-11 victory Thursday morning in the Pontchartrain Center.

The District 2-III champion Lady Pioneers (29-11) advanced to the semifinals Friday against Sacred Heart (New Orleans) after defeating Breaux Bridge, 16-14, 15-11, in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon.

Lutcher, runners-up in District 5-III, finished its season with a 13-11 record.

Lutcher had been to the state tournament the past two years but only had two players who played for those teams. Notre Dame, with three seniors,used the Lady Bulldogs’ inexperience to take a 5-0 lead in the first game on a cross-court kill by Jessica Dorr, an ace by Gretchen Schmaltz and three Lutcher errors.

The Lady Bulldogs bounced right back, closing to within 6-3 on kills by Candice Millet and DeAndrea Delmore and an ace by Christy Melancon. ButNotre Dame began to pull away three serves later on three Lutcher errors and a kill by Dorr, building its lead to 11-3. A kill by Holly Hymel made it11-4 before Notre Dame used kills by Allison Boulet and Dorr and an ace by Schmaltz to pull to within game point. The Lady Pioneers got the winneron its next serve on a Lutcher error.

Notre Dame jumped out again in the second game, using a kill by Dorr and four Lutcher errors to take a 5-1 lead. Lutcher tied the score on a kill byKeondra Robertson and three Notre Dame errors. The Lady Pioneers againpulled ahead by three on a block by Jenny Grotefend, a kill by Rebecca Jones and an ace by Hensgen. Lutcher tied the game once again on a spikeby Candace Keller, a Notre Dame error and a tip by Erin Hymel.

Notre Dame would take a 12-10 lead on a kill by Grotefend and a spike by Dorr before Lutcher pulled back to within one on an error. But on their nextserve, the Lady Pioneers would take the match on a kill by Margaret Zaunbrecher and a block by Hensgen.

Hensgen and Grotefend each had a team-high three blocks. Dorr led allplayers with 10 kills while Schmaltz contributed three aces and Jones 18 digs. Lacey Godeaux also had 15 assists.Holly Hymel had four kills for the Lady Bulldogs with Robertson contributing eight blocks and Melancon seven assists. Lindsay Louque andMillet each had nine digs.

“A lot of it was nerves,” Lutcher coach Denise Riley said. “We played gooddefense but we couldn’t get our offense going because of nervousness. Butwe will be back next year.”

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