Ladycats spike Carver, now 2-0

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 11, 2010



RESERVE — East St. John’s volleyball squad fell into an early hole in 2009 and never recovered. Their start to 2010 has bared no resemblance.

The Wildcats moved to 2-0 Wednesday with a victory at home over Carver, 25-12, 25-7, 25-11.

East St. John has not tasted defeat yet this season after also going unbeaten at the Lutcher jamboree two weeks ago. Last season, ESJ went winless at the event and got out of the blocks slowly during the regular season.

“It’s nice to be 2-0 and to get another win,” said East St. John coach Monica Hebert. “Especially going into the H.L. Bourgeois tournament. It’s building confidence for the team.”

After winning the first game, the Ladycats scored the first six points of the second game, including two aces by Jessica Sanford. A scoring hit by Laquana Gardner made it 7-1, and a pair of aces by Autumn Landry helped push the lead to 11-1.

With ESJ holding an 18-7 lead, Sanford stepped back to the serving line and notched three more aces as her team reeled off seven straight points to end the game and take a 2-0 lead.

Carver scored early in the third game to take a 2-0 lead, but a kill by Taja McGee tied things up and ESJ rolled from there. The Wildcats made it 7-5 after scoring on a play where Alexis Banks made a diving dig to pop the ball over the net. That ignited a 7-1 run capped by a Ayanna Hall kill. With the score 14-8, the Wildcats went on a 5-0 run with Hall serving. She tallied two aces in that run. A Chentel Noble block and a Deznee Wilson kill made it 20-10, and ESJ closed things out on three consecutive Noble aces.

Wilson finished with two kills and four aces. Darichelle Sampson had three assists and three aces. Noble added eight aces and Sanford notched 10 aces.

Hebert said she was especially pleased with the way her offense has performed, particularly its hitting. Terynek Grover, Noble, Gardner and Brionka Williams all pose threats at the net.

“We’re a lot better in terms of hitting than we were last season,” said Hebert. “We just hope to keep getting better.”

Sanford said that the difference this year has come down to team chemistry.

“We’re working well together, we talk a lot out there now,” said Sanford. “When things go bad, we shake it off. Everyone’s in position.”

She said the start to the season has energized the players.

“We’re pumped up,” said Sanford. “We just want to keep this going all the way into our district.”