East St. John snaps losing streak, tops WSJ in three

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 24, 2007

Briggs, Bardell among those who shine in win for Wildcats; Rams rally late but fall short


Sports Writer

With district play fast approaching, East St. John had to turn things around in a hurry.

After starting off the season 2-0, the Wildcats had fallen in three straight matches, and a loss at home to a parish rival in West St. John on Wednesday would have guaranteed the Wildcats a losing record entering its district opener at St. Amant.

East St. John’s players had no interest in taking a fourth consecutive loss. Instead, they answered the call, winning in three games over the Rams, 25-18, 25-22, and 25-23.

&#8220It’s about time. We really needed that one,” said East St. John Coach Monica Hebert. &#8220The players really stepped it up a notch, especially the upperclassman.”

Said West St.John Coach Glenda Rush: &#8220We’re too inconsistent right now. When they call out their plays, run them, and communicate they do fine. Then they stop and we fall back.”

Monique Briggs had three kills, five assists, and an ace for East St. John (3-3). Brandi Bardell had five assists. Jasmine Marshall had two aces, and Chantell Bush had three kills and three assists.

For West St. John (2-5), Destani Comminie led the way with ten digs and five kills. Kyla Morris led the Rams with two aces, and added five digs. Tranell Mitchell had three kills.

Hebert said that a major key to the win was that the players played with more of a positive energy than in the previous three games, and that they supported each other when things went wrong.

Briggs backed that assessment up.

&#8220We felt good out there,” said Briggs. &#8220We were smiling, and having fun. That’s what it’s all about, having fun when you’re playing. We learned that from coach.”

After the Wildcats won the first game, the second game saw much back and forth action. West St. John led 18-15 when East St. John went on a four point run, capped off by a Mariah Wilder kill to make it 19-18.

The Rams scored the next two points to take a 20-19 lead, but the Wildcats turned it on, scoring the next five points, capped by a Raven Simmons ace. With East St. John a point away from victory, the Rams scored two to make it 24-22, but East St. John would finish it off at 25-22.

East St. John appeared to break away from the Rams in the third game, when an ace by Bush and a kill by Wilder made it 23-18.

But Destani Comminie’s kill for the next point sparked the Rams. Kills by Mitchell and Morris, and an ace by Comminie made it 23-22, and Comminie’s second ace of the 5-0 run capped it off to tie the game.

But East St. John would take the next point after a Rams fault on a serve, and clinch the game one point later.

&#8220We had some team meetings, and got to where we need to be. This team never gave up today,” said Briggs.

Meanwhile, it was not all bad for the Rams, according to Rush.

&#8220They did run the plays well and have been moving much better out there. Their attitude is improved.”

&#8220I’m just looking for a higher level of play from them. I know it’s there, I can see it in them. There is a lot of skill there, but they still have to master the mental side of the game.”