Western serves 32 aces as Comets end bi-district match on ‘perfect note’, defeats Clark in three games

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sports Editor

On the softball diamond, St. Charles’ Courtney Western is known for pitching shutouts.

You don’t see those very often at all on a volleyball court. But on Saturday, Western and her Comet teammates made one happen.

Western put on a serving exhibition, notching 32 aces — most of which coming in a 25-0 final game — as the Comets dominated visiting Clark in a bi-district playoff match on Saturday, winning 25-5, 25-14, 25-0.

The Comets (15-12) now advance to the Pontchartrain Center for the regional round of the state volleyball tournament. They will face Lutcher Wednesday. The Bulldogs defeated Crowley in the bi-district round, 25-11, 25-14, 25-7.

Once Western stepped to the serving line in the final game, she wouldn’t step a way until the Comets’ ticket to the next round — and a rare perfect game — was secured.

“I just wanted to get (her serves) in play,” Western said. “I knew that if they returned it, my teammates and I still had the ability to get the point. That gave me a lot of confidence.”

Western also had 16 assists. Brooke Becker had 12 kills. Peyton Millet added three digs.

“It was a good win for us,” said St. Charles Coach Brandy Ryan. “I’m proud of the kids for staying focused. Our main focus was to stay consistent on our serves and not make any errors there, and we did that today.”

All season, Ryan has spoke to her team about finishing matches strong, and her team showed Saturday that her message got through loud and clear.

Even when Clark managed to return Western’s serves, the Comets wasted little time garnering the point. Becker slammed home kills to make it 12-0, 18-0, and 20-0 before she finished the match with one final spike, clinching the 25th and final point after three straight aces by Western.

“I’m really excited. Actually, it’s a bit bittersweet, since this was my last home game,” said Becker, a senior. “Hopefully, we do as well next week.”

Clark made its only real push in the match at the beginning of the second game — it took leads on three different occasions, including an 11-9 advantage.

But St. Charles scored the next 10 points to seize control, including two Becker kills and three Western aces. Meg Gustafson clinched the game with a kill for the 25th point. A Gustafson ace also set up the winning point in the first game, one in which the Comets scored 13 of the first 14 points.