Rebels top St. James, can’t solve Ponchatoula

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2008


Sports Editor

Despite a 22-12 record so far this season, Riverside Coach Mandy Luminais says she and her Rebels are still working out a few kinks — and that she hopes the job is finished soon, as “crunch-time” approaches.

Riverside won its second district match of the season last Thursday, topping St. James 25-22, 25-12, 25-23 at Riverside. But the Rebels fell at Ponchatoula on Wednesday, 27-29, 16-25, 22-25 in a non-district contest.

That, combined with the team’s 2-2 performance at the East St. John Cat Scratch Tournament this past Saturday, has Luminais and her players determined to pull out of what’s been a turbulent two weeks — particularly as a rematch with district foe Curtis looms this Thursday.

“We’re just making too many simple mistakes, that shouldn’t happen. It’s costing us games,” said Luminais. “We’re too close to the playoffs, to the end of district, to have these kinds of mistakes.

“In the past, if we had a bad week. We would pull out of it quickly. That hasn’t happened for us yet. But we can’t have another bad week — those can’t exist at this point in the season.”

The loss to Ponchatoula was the second in a week for the Rebels, who lost to the Green Wave at the Cat Scratch tourney.

Heidi Garcich had 15 kills and 30 digs for the Rebels (22-12). Shaney Borne had five aces and three blocks. Kaitlyn Millet had 12 assists.

But while the team’s offense was a strong point, Luminais said the team’s defense was lacking on Wednesday.

“We have to play defense to set our offense up,” she said.

Riverside was scheduled to play its fourth district match on Tuesday, at Carver. But that match has been rescheduled for Nov. 1 at Riverside.

But the Rebels’ third District 4-IV match of the season went into the books as a Riverside win, as the Rebels beat St. James in three games at St. James.

But it wasn’t a win that came easy for Riverside, something Luminais credits to a vastly improved Wildcats team.

“They pull anything off the ground. They dive, they fly around, they’ll put anything back over the net,” Luminais said. “I think we may have took them a bit lightly, they caught us walking around a few times.

“The main thing was, they didn’t want a loss in their house, and they played like it.”

Garcich and Millet each had 22 digs. Garcich added 10 kills, while Millet notched two blocks, 15 assists, and four aces.

CAT SCRATCH TOURNAMENT — Riverside went 2-2 at the Cat Scratch tournament Saturday at East St. John.

The Rebels opened with a match against West St. John and topped the Rams 25-21, 26-24. Garcich had 10 kills, three aces and 15 digs. Borne had two blocks.

The Rebels lost their first game of the day, but moved to 2-0 in spite of that after a match with St. Thomas Aquinas. STA won the first game 26-24, but fell 23-25 and 12-15 in the final two games as Riverside rallied. Garcich had 38 digs, 12 kills and five aces. Kristy Milioto added three blocks and Ashley Forstall had 17 assists.

Ponchatoula stopped the Rebel momentum with a 25-23, 23-25, 15-13 win over Riverside in its third match. Forstall had 17 assists for the second straight match.

Finally, Riverside fell to eventual tournament champion Houma Christian in the Rebels’ final game, 25-20, 15-25, 13-15.

Shelby DeSlatte had two aces. Borne had two blocks and Garcich had 10 kills and 17 digs.

While Riverside couldn’t defend the Cat Scratch crown it earned last season, Luminais said the weekend wasn’t a total loss.

“We went in with a list of things we had to fix, and cut it in half,” she said. “Nobody hung their heads leaving the gym. We went in to get better, and I feel like we did.”