Comets rally to beat Rebels

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 6, 2008


Sports Editor

As St. Charles’ Taylor Duhe puts it, the Comets are a team that tends to keep everyone on their toes — the crowd, the opponents, even themselves.

And how.

After losing a heartbreaker to Ellender in SCC’s opening game of the Lutcher tournament on Saturday, the Comets had to immediately shift gears to face their next foe – rival Riverside, who defeated St. Charles in three games two weeks ago and entered the day ranked second in Class 2A under the power points system.

Only this time, the Comets evened the score with the Rebels, taking a 22-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory.

After a Duhe kill tied the third and deciding game at 12, Brooke Becker added a kill and a scoring tip to net St. Charles a 14-13 lead. St. Charles (4-5) scored the winning point when an attempted return by Riverside’s Shea LaFountain went into the net.

Now, after starting the season 0-3, St. Charles has posted wins over two of its top rivals this week after defeating Lutcher on Tuesday.

“It always means a lot to play Riverside,” said Duhe. “You always like to beat your rivals. All of us know each other. It’s a friends’ rivalry. When we play each other, it always helps us get better. When they have high momentum, we get it too.”

St. Charles coach Brandy Ryan said the week has been a major confidence builder for her team.

“Things are coming together,” she said. “We finally closed out a game. We finished. That’s something we’ve had to work on. It’s a pretty big win.”

The tournament was a major disappointment for the Rebels, who entered with aspirations of moving up into the top power points position in 2A. But Riverside (15-7) started the day with losses to the Comets and Hahnville, and finished with one to Ellender.

Riverside Coach Mandy Luminais said her team entered the tournament with great excitement and energy, but somehow lost their way during play.

“We just fell flat,” Luminais said. “There was a lack of focus, and not enough teamwork. Right now, the message is really just to block everything out, and go with this game. Focus on the task at hand.

“There was a lot of pressure on us today. Everyone wanted to be ranked first.”

In the first game, neither team established a lead of more than four points, most of the match was closer than that. Two aces by Becker put SCC ahead 19-15, but an ace by Ashley Forstall and kills by LaFountain and Heidi Garcich cut the lead to one. Riverside would finally tie it up at 21, then scored the last five points of the match, putting away the Comets by a kill by Shaney Borne. ‘

St. Charles answered in the second game. With the score tied at 13, the Comets scored the next seven points. A kill by Duhe made it 20-13. With SCC leading 24-16, Riverside scored five straight points to make the Comets sweat, but Duhe finished things off with a kill to net the 25-21 win.

Each team left it on the court in the third game. After St. Charles erased a three point deficit early to tie the game at 7-7, neither team would lead by more than two.

But a two point lead would be just enough to net SCC the final victory.

“I just told them to go out and fight. Give everything you have,” said Ryan.

St. Charles fell to Ellender in its first match, 25-15, 25-27, 14-16.

But the Comets closed the day out with a win over Hahnville, 25-23, 25-23. That put the Comets in a three way tie for first in their pool, but tiebreakers wouldn’t allow SCC to advance further.

Hahnville defeated Riverside in the Rebels first game, 22-25, 25-13, 15-10. Ellender beat the Rebels in their final game of the tourney, 25-16, 25-13.