Ecole Classique leaves WSJ with win

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 18, 2009



West St. John scored a victory over rival St. James earlier this week, but couldn’t keep the momentum going on the volleyball court Thursday as it dropped a decision in three games to visiting Ecole Classique, 25-21, 25-12, 25-21.

“We just weren’t ready,” said the Rams’ Talar Lewis. “We have to keep our heads in the game and focus. We didn’t do that.”

Said West St. John coach Valerie Gauthier: “I’m highly upset with this one. The girls were down on themselves. If there was a bad call, or someone messed up, they took their heads out the game. We have to learn to play our game, and not worry about anyone else’s.”

Jordan Kinler and Nancy Lamantia led Ecole at the net, and the Rams often times had no answer for their spikes.

The Spartans (6-2) jumped out to a 15-9 lead in the first game, but West St. John (3-3) rallied to pull within one and make it a back and forth set the rest of the way.

A Lewis dink after a lunging save by Breion Sarapuru made it 17-16. Ecole extended its lead back to three, but a dink by Chasity Everson, then later a serving error by Ecole kept the Rams within striking distance. But with Ecole ahead 22-20, Lamantia made a kill and West St. John committed a return error to make it 24-20. Ecole finished the job on a Rams serve that sailed out of bounds.

The second game was all about a hot start for Ecole. The Spartans doubled up the Rams early at 16-8. An ace by Everson made it 16-10, but the Spartans strung together five straight points to make it 21-10. A Kinler spike would finish things off for the final point.

“We didn’t start strong. It took awhile to get warmed up,” said Ecole Classique coach Lori Songy.

“I thought we did a much better job in the last two games of focusing.”

The third game again saw Ecole climb out to a big lead – the Spartans led 20-11 at one point. An ace by Sarapuru and a hit by Ormoni Favorite helped pull the Rams within five, 21-16, and an ace by Lewis later pulled the Rams to 23-18.

With Ecole leading 24-19, WSJ staved off elimination via a Malana Farnell ace and a Lamantia spike that sailed out of bounds. But a Rams serving error clinched the final point for Ecole.

“We weren’t picking up serves, and all of ours were off,” said Gauthier. “We missed far too many.”

Said Favorite: “We didn’t play as well as usual. The competition was good, but everybody played down today.”

Farnell led the team defensively with 15 digs. Sarapuru added two kills.

RAMS TOP WILDCATS IN THREE – West St. John took a 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 win over host St. James on Tuesday.

Favorite led WSJ with 11 digs. Farnell and Tahajenik Howard each served two aces. Sarapuru notched three kills.

“The girls were ready to play,” Gauthier said. “As long as they communicate, play line to line, and cover their spots we win. When any one of those things is off, we lose. On Tuesday, they did everything they needed to do – I didn’t even have to coach.”

Gauthier said her team’s conditioning proved a key factor.“We kept (St. James) running,” said Gauthier. “It’s why we run so much in practice, so we don’t get tired out there.”