Rebels finish thrilling rally at home

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2010



RESERVE — A late second game rally fell just short for Riverside as it hosted Thibodaux Thursday evening, but it set the tone for the rest of the night. And, the Rebels hope, its season as a whole.

RA bounced back to win the next three games and capture their second victory of the season, 15-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-10, and 15-7.

“It’s a great win for the girls,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “The most important thing was, like I told them after the second game, losing the first two was no longer important. It’s all about finishing. Don’t lay down and die. You’ve got three games left, an opportunity to finish.”

The Rebels (2-0) clinched the final point of the match on a hit by Shea LaFountain. She finished with 17 kills.

Kristy Milioto also had a big night for RA with 16 kills —including a number of key blocks — and a pair of aces. Shelby Deslatte finished with 27 digs and Taylor Terrio added 19 to go with 12 assists. Toni Hebert had 18 assists.

The Tigers boast an imposing front line and seemed to boast too many weapons for the Rebels early on, as Thibodaux’s Stacy Theriot, Jarraneishia Allen and Alyssa Martinez all made big impacts in the first two games. Thibodaux built a 10-3 lead in the first game, and while the Rebels made it 17-14 late in the contest, a Donlynn Miller hit sparked an 8-1 Tiger run to end things at 25-15.

“I didn’t think we really woke up until the second game,” said Kristy Hebert. “They might have been a little intimidated at the beginning, they came out really swinging. But we gave them a lot of points, and I wanted to get across that if we cleaned those up, it could be our game.”

Another quick start in the second game saw Thibodaux take a 17-9 lead. But with Toni Hebert up at the serving line, the Rebels began to heat up. Milioto scored on a tip, then a block to make it 17-12. She scored on back-to-back hits again to make it 17-15, and a return error by Thibodaux drew RA within one.

“When you’re down, you have to get back up,” said Milioto. “I felt like I had to do my part to be a leader and step up.”

But a Allen kill gave Thibodaux a three-point lead, then another made it four. The Tigers scored three straight points at 22-19 to clinch the game and go up 2-0.

Twice, Rebel slow starts doomed them on the night, but another would never come. RA took a 7-2 lead and would extend that to 18-10. Thibodaux answered the bell in a big way with Andre’a Foote serving, scoring the next 10 points to take a 20-18 lead.

But a Milioto block got the Rebs back on track. After a pair of Tiger errors, a LaFountain kill made it 22-10. She showed impressive touch on a tipped ball that floated over the Tiger defense and remained inbounds for the 24th point, and RA captured the 25th on a spike into the net.

The fourth game and fifth games were largely dominant performances by Riverside. An 11-7 run ballooned to 17-7 thanks largely to a pair of aces by Deslatte and three scoring hits by Milioto. With the score 18-9, another Rebel run came with Kelsi Roussel at the serving line, and Milioto’s kill ended the fourth game and officially sent the teams to a fifth and deciding game.

“I could tell their adrenaline was pumping,” said Kristy Hebert. “Play within yourself, don’t try to do anything outside of what you can do, and we’ll be ok in that fifth game.”

Thibodaux scored the first two points, one on a Martinez kill, another on a double hit. But LaFountain slammed home a kill to give the Rebels their first lead and they wouldn’t trail again. A pair of aces by Milioto and a scoring hit by Megan Malik helped push things to 10-3 and Riverside never looked back.

“Thibodaux’s a good team. They had a few hitters and made us change some things up,” said Kristy Hebert. “It was a great battle at this point in the season. Both teams will benefit from it.”

RIVERSIDE DEF. WSJ — LaFountain had 12 kills and Milioto had 12 digs as the Rebels downed West St. John in the season opener for both teams Tuesday, 25-14, 25-11, 25-10.

Toni Hebert and Taylor Terrio each had 13 assists and three aces.

Stats for West St. John were not available at press time.