Lady Rebs fall just short in five

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2011



RESERVE — The latest in a string of tough competitors for Riverside to open the 2011 season, host Ben Franklin felled the Rebels in five games on Thursday evening, 25-15, 21-25, 25-16, 23-25 and 15-3.

Both Ben Franklin and Riverside were state quarterfinalists a season ago; Ben Franklin in Division III and Riverside in Division IV.

Riverside coach Bridget Melancon said that her team has dealt with cohesion issues in recent games, with the starting lineup revolving due to injuries and absences. But Thursday’s match, despite the loss, was encouraging to the team’s first-year head coach.

“We’ve finally got most of our starting lineup back and I thought we really played together tonight,” she said. “We’ve been a bit out of sorts. The lineup has changed so much that we haven’t been playing that well as a unit. It was different (against Ben Franklin).”

Riverside (3-8) was missing numerous starters last Saturday in the Loyola tournament, mostly due to scheduling conflict with a senior commitment (the team went 1-3, defeating Southern Lab but losing to two out of state teams and McGehee) and two starters in Tuesday’s loss at Assumption. Thursday saw the Rebels nearly at full strength, with just one starter missing in action.

Danielle Sharp had 12 kills and three blocks for Riverside. Shelby Deslatte had 45 digs. Toni Hebert had 23 assists while Taylor Terrio added 14. Terrio also had 10 kills.

“Everyone pulled their weight,” said Melancon. “We’re back to playing like a single unit. Everyone fought for it tonight … I can’t ask for more.”

On Tuesday, Assumption came away with a 25-15, 25-16 and 25-17 victory.

Sharp had eight kills, three aces and two blocks. Hebert had nine assists and two kills. Erica Delaneuville had a pair of blocks.

Delaneuville, a freshman, is one who Melancon said has stepped up and pushed her way into the rotation after putting together some strong efforts in the stead of those missing time.

“She didn’t play last year because she was rehabbing her rotator cuff,” said Melancon. “She’s incredibly athletic and determined. I’m excited to see what she can do the rest of the way.”

Today, the Lady Rebels resume play with a match against Ascension Catholic at Riverside. The day is set to begin with the junior varsity playing at 10 a.m. and the varsity following immediately after.

It looks to be an important test before next week; the Rebels will open district play at St. Charles Thursday.

“I’m anticipating a fight (against Ascension Catholic),” said Melancon. “They were a good, young team last year and they’ve brought mostly everyone back. It should give us a pretty good idea of where we’re at.”