Rams fall in five to Central

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2009



EDGARD — West St. John looked to be rolling along to a potential victory at home in its district opener on Wednesday. But Nia Stewart and Central Catholic had other plans.

The Eagles rallied behind their two leading hitters from an early deficit in their match to capture a 16-25, 25-19, 25-13, 22-25, 15-10 win over West St. John.

Stewart slammed home a kill to score the 15th and final point of the fifth game tiebreaker for Central Catholic (15-8, 1-1).

“I saw it coming, and I just knew,” said Stewart. “I had to finish it off.”

The Rams (7-12, 0-1) led the match 1-0 and held a 7-1 lead in the second game before Central Catholic settled down, winning the second and third games to establish control.

“We got our heads in the game,” said Stewart. “We didn’t change anything, aside from just regaining our focus.”

Said West St. John coach Valerie Gauthier: “I thought there was a little too much bickering out there. As I told them, when you fuss and you bicker, you won’t play as a team. When things go bad, not having a positive attitude just feeds into it.”

Kyla Morris led WSJ with 13 digs and 13 blocks. Talar Lewis had nine digs.

West St. John pulled together though to retake the momentum in the fourth game, despite a hot start for the Eagles, who took an 8-2 lead early on. West St. John then began to cut into the lead – an ace by Morris cut it to 10-7. Central Catholic scored the next two points, but WSJ rattled off five in a row to tie on Breion Sarapuru’s ace.

The teams traded points until Stewart made two kills to life the Eagles to a 16-14 advantage. Two Eagle return errors helped WSJ score three straight points to take their first lead in the game. With the score tied 18-18, Lewis’ ace capped a 4-0 run to put WSJ ahead 22-18.

That would be enough breathing room – Deja Feist’s block of a Garrett spike put WSJ ahead 24-20, and after two Central Catholic points, their return error clinched the win for WSJ.

“We learned what they were doing and adjusted. We started playing our positions well,” said Morris.

The Eagles began the fifth game with three straight points — including two points by Stewart and another by Celine Flores. The Rams matched to tie things up.

But after taking a 5-4 lead, Central Catholic began to pull away. Garrett scored with a spike off of Morris’ block to make it 8-5. An errant WSJ serve made it 10-6, and a Garrett ace made it 13-9. The Rams wouldn’t draw any closer.

“I think our players knew it was time to take care of business (entering the final game),” said Central Catholic coach Kindra Halverson. “Our seniors – Nia, Chelsie (Adams), and Carlie (Orlando) — especially stepped up.”

Leading 12-9 in the first game, WSJ rattled off five straight points to take control, including two aces by Malana Farnell. A Morris dink made it 24-16, and a Stewart kill that sailed out made the deciding point.

Two more Farnell aces and a Feist block helped WSJ establish an early 7-2 lead in the second game, but an 11-4 run gave Central Catholic a 13-11 lead. WSH scored two t0 tie it up, but the Eagles scored four straight to establish a lead it wouldn’t relinquish, clinching on a Flores block for a score.

Central rolled to victory in the third game, running out to a 15-6 lead early.

“To turn it around, we’ve just got to correct our mistakes, change some things up,” said Morris.