Published 12:00 am Monday, October 18, 2004

ESJ moves into first place with win


Sports Editor

RESERVE – It has been a long time coming for the East St. John Lady Cats. But, there hard work has finally payed off as they defeated East Jefferson Wednesday afternoon, 17-25, 25-16, 25-16, 26-24, to move into first-place in District 7-I action.

“My heart is about to bust,” said East St. John middle blocker Ashlee Cooper. “We practiced so hard and everybody just pulled together.”

Cooper finished with 16 kills and Kierre Joseph contributed with 16 digs, seven kills and three aces.

“For me being a senior, this means everything. I am just overwhelmed right now,” Joseph said.

Things did not go as well for the Lady Cats in the first game as they would have liked. The Lady Warriors jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in game one.

However, the big story in game one was Jeanne O’ Leary, East Jefferson’s top player, going down with an ankle injury.

“She (O’ Leary) is a great player, but I think when she got injured she was limited in what she could do. We took advantage of that,” said East St. John Head Volleyball Coach Sandi Stein.

Cooper then went to work. With Maira Harris serving, Cooper got the Lady Cats on the board with two kills and a block, making the score 7-3.

East St. John tied the score for the first time in game one on a return error by East Jefferson.

With East St. John trailing 19-17, the Lady Warriors scored the next six points to win 25-17.

East St. John never trailed in the second game. Leading 11-9, the Lady Cats went on to score the nine out of the next ten points to grab an 18-10 lead.

With East Jefferson having trimmed the lead to five, 21-16, the Lady Cats scored the next four points to claim a 25-16 victory.

A 9-1 run during the third game gave East St. John a 13-6 lead. Back-to-back kills by Cooper gave the Lady Cats their biggest lead of game three, 21-11.

The fourth game was the most competitive. Neither team enjoyed more than a two point lead in the fourth game. In addition, there were a total of seven ties in the game.

With the Lady Cats two points away from victory, the Lady Warriors came back to tie the game 23-23. A return error by EJ gave East St. John a 24-23 lead, but East Jefferson came back to tie the game 24-24 after a kill from O’ Leary.