Rams continue hot start

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2011



EDGARD — Undefeated.

It’s been just two weeks and four games. But that word is music to the ears of West St. John volleyball coach Brandon Dumas and his players, who moved to 4-0 Wednesday with a victory over South Plaquemines in four games at home, 25-17, 23-25, 25-9 and 25-18.

Only a season after winning just two matches on the season, the Rams have already doubled that total in 2011.

Dumas can’t recall a start quite as strong for West St. John, and it’s been noticed by the school; he’s hearing more and more buzz.

“4-0, it’s just about unprecedented here,” he said. “We haven’t seen this in awhile. We want to continue to build on what we’ve done so far. And like we’ve been saying, let’s see how long we can take this streak.”

Rams’ outside hitter Breion Sorapuru led WSJ with six kills Wednesday to go along with a block. She said the reason for the team’s success thus far comes down to the work ethic that she, her teammates and coaches have shown.

“We’re together, practicing every day, putting in long hours,” Sorapuru said. “When we make mistakes, we come to practice and fix what we need to.”

South Plaquemines tied the match at a game each after extending an early lead to five, 17-12, thanks in part to consecutive aces by Gabrielle Ragas. West St. John fought back to eventually lead by one, 21-20, on Lakeedra Lewis’ kill, then by two on a hit by Sorapuru, 23-21. But the Hurricanes broke the Rams’ momentum and scored the final four points of the game.

West St. John (4-0) wasted little time asserting themselves in the third game. Sorapuru’s ace made it 6-1 and the Rams held a five-point lead through much of the early stages of the game.

Then they took off, scoring seven straight points and all but slamming the door, making it 19-8 with Tahajenik Howard at the serving line. Sydnei Young added consecutive aces and Lewis added a block to help fuel a 6-1 run to end the game.

“We knew we were a better team than we were showing. Coach talked to us and showed some strong confidence in us, and we felt that,” said Sorapuru.

“My girls are fighters,” Dumas added. “I’m just trying to get them to fight even more than they are.”

West St. John also put together a pair of key streaks in the fourth and final game, though a pair of rallies from South Plaquemines kept the game’s result in doubt. The Rams led 7-3, then 11-5 on a pair of scoring plays by Young. The Hurricanes drew within one after five consecutive points, but then the Rams marched on to score six straight of their own. A kill by SPHS’ Dominique Alexis sparked a 5-0 run that made the Rams’ lead just two, 17-15. But that’s where the drama ended, a 5-0 run by WSJ making it 22-15. The game ended when a Hurricanes return sailed out of bounds.

“I didn’t feel like we played to our potential completely today,” said Dumas.

“But it’s definitely good to continue on unbeaten.”

Against Ascension Christian Tuesday, the Rams won again at home, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-16.

Sorapuru had four kills, two blocks and five digs. Howard had four digs, three kills and two blocks. Jennika Jones had nine aces.

The Rams return to action Tuesday for a non-district rivalry clash with St. James at WSJ. Junior varsity begins at 4:30 p.m. with the varsity following after.