Ladycats fall to Griffins

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 2, 2009



RESERVE — East St. John entered its Thursday night match at home with district rival Dutchtown as a heavy underdog. While the Lady Wildcats lost, they may have gained a measure of respect from the Griffins – and found a foundation to build upon for the rest of district play.

Dutchtown captured a 25-23, 25-22, 25-15 victory over a game ESJ squad, one that matched a strong Griffins team point for point at times.

“No question, I thought they played extremely well,” said Dutchtown coach Patrick Ricks. “Defensively, they were really good. They hustled. There weren’t a whole lot of open spots out there for us.”

Said East St. John coach Vivian Aubert: “I think our girls realized tonight that they have the potential to win. Before, maybe that wasn’t the case. I’m not sure they believed it.”

Brionka Williams had six kills to lead ESJ, while Terynek Grover added four. Darichelle Sampson had eight digs and Dynekia Sanders had seven assists.

Dutchtown (9-4, 2-0) led 16-13 in the first game before a Tykee Anderson tip and Taja McGee’s two aces tied the game. The Griffins answered with four straight points and six of the next seven to take a 22-17 lead.

But then ESJ caught fire, scoring six of the next seven. Williams made a kill, then Grover did the same to make it 22-19. A return error put Dutchtown at 23, but Williams made another kill and Sanders served an ace to cut the lead to two. Two Dutchtown errors tied the game. But Haley Burns popped over the go-ahead point for the Griffins, then Jodi Hill finished it off by slamming home a spike.

The Griffins carried the momentum into the second game – a Sydney Loupe ace put the Griffins ahead 8-3, and a Hill block put DHS ahead 14-6.

Late in the game, though, ESJ fought back. An ace by Anderson cut the lead to three, 21-18. Dutchtown surged ahead to a 24-19 lead, but ESJ staved off a loss via two kills by Grover and a return error by Dutchtown. But trailing 24-22, ESJ made an error on the ensuing point and fell behind two games to none.

The Wildcats scored the first two points of the third game, but Dutchtown found its rhythm. A tip by Hill, followed by her kill gave Dutchtown an early 4-2 lead. Two aces by Loupe made it 11-6. With her team leading 16-10, Loupe charged a run of five unanswered points with two aces and a kill. It made it 21-10, and Loupe would add an ace later for the game – and the match’s – final point.

“I felt like our ball control picked up at the end,” said Ricks. “We weren’t getting it into the middle, where (Hill) could do something with it.”

Grover said the performance was indicative of what the Wildcats are capable of.

“There’s a lot of talent on this team,” she said. “When we really work together and communicate, then we’re able to play really well.”

Aubert agreed that communication has been an issue, but that it improved by leaps and bounds on Thursday.

“I’m proud. They played well as a unit. It wasn’t just one or two individuals trying to carry the load,” Aubert said. “The biggest difference is they communicate and encourage one another.”

ST. AMANT TOPS WILDCATS IN THREE – In the district opener for both teams, St. Amant captured a 25-15, 25-16, 25-14 win at home over ESJ.

Sanders led the Wildcats with seven assists. McGee had eight digs and two aces. Sampson had six assists. Alexis Banks added six digs.