RA scores district win over SCC

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2011



LAPLACE — After a string of five-game performances, one couldn’t blame Riverside for wanting to finish things a bit earlier. But with rival St. Charles on the slate for the district opener, history suggested that going the distance would be in the cards yet again.

But for the Rebels, it was less about want and more about need, and Riverside came away with a win in four games, 25-18, 26-24, 17-25 and 25-13 at St. Charles.

“What I’m most proud of is that they understood that with our record, this match was essential,” said Riverside coach Briget Melancon, whose team improved to 7-8 after a brutal predistrict slate. “There was a lot of intensity today. With the record St. Charles had, I think the girls saw that and felt the importance of today’s game.”

Riverside libero Shelby Deslatte, who finished with a match-high 41 digs and four aces, said that after St. Charles won the third game of the match the Rebels pulled together. She said her team knew they could not afford to fall into a district hole and also that a fifth game could put them at a disadvantage on a day when a handful of Rebel starters were playing while ill.

“We had a talk,” said Deslatte. “We knew we had to have this one. We’ve got a few people sick and injured, and we had to finish. We couldn’t go to a fifth game, we wouldn’t have the energy left.”

That fifth game may well have happened if not for a Rebel rally in the second game of the set that saw Riverside erased a 24-21 deficit to win 26-24 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

St. Charles led by as many as five after a back and forth early going. Emily Picciola’s kill put SCC ahead 16-12 and a follow-up score made the lead five, but RA pushed back to score five straight points, including two aces by Deslatte and a kill by Taylor Terrio. That put RA ahead 18-17. RA led 21-20 after a Comet return that sailed out of bounds, but SCC scored the next four, the last point coming on a Rebels’ return error.

But Jenna Roussel’s scoring hit sparked a 5-0 run to end the game in the Rebels’ favor. Katie Bailey served an ace. Two Comet returns did not make it onto the court of play, and Roussel capped it off with a kill to push her team’s lead to 2-0.

“We just couldn’t put it away,” said St. Charles coach Kristin Sullivan. “Too many errors … We didn’t serve tough today, and that’s something we usually rely on … We need to want to have the responsibility of the ball. We need to be more aggressive.”

The third game, conversely, saw St. Charles grab the momentum in the game’s middle portion and keep it. Nicole Doming’s kill made it 11-8 in the Comets’ favor. Heather Orillion’s ace made it a four-point cushion. SCC scored seven-of-eight points at one point to lead 17-10. SCC would record its biggest lead at eight after Chelsea Loupe slammed two spikes over three Comet points to make it 20-12. A pair of Danielle Sharp kills pulled SCC within six, but the Comets would finish things with a Doming kill and a seven-point victory.

The final game, however, belonged completely to Riverside.

The Rebels quickly built a 10-1 lead. Kills by Sharp and Terrio and an ace by Deslatte pushed RA’s lead to 14-3, and an Erica Delauneville dink made it 15-4. SCC fought to push the Rebel advantage to single digits but a final RA surge resulted in a match-ending kill by Terrio to put Riverside up one in the win column in district play.

Melancon said that her team’s push in the final game came down to desire.

“’How bad do you want this? Are you going to regret not pushing as hard as you can from beginning to end when this match is over?’” Melancon said. “That’s what it was about for them.”

Said Deslatte, “We just didn’t want to lose.”

Delauneville had eight blocks for Riverside. Toni Hebert had four aces and 28 assists. Sharp and Terrio each had 12 kills.

For St. Charles, Doming had eight kills. Picciola and Raven Becnel each had two aces. Becnel also had 24 assists. Orillion had 24 digs.

REBELS TOP BRUINS AND BULLDOGS — Riverside entered Thursday’s game on a two-match winning streak after back-to-back victories over Ascension Catholic and Bonnabel.

The Rebels defeated host Bonnabel 25-15, 25-9 and 25-11 Tuesday.

Deslatte had 35 digs. Hebert had five aces and eight assists. Terrio had nine assists. Sharp and Delauneville added two blocks each. Hebert, Sharp and Kelsi Roussel each had four kills.

Last Saturday, it was another win in three for RA, 26-24, 25-17 and 25-17 in Reserve.

Hebert had six aces and 14 assists. Terrio added seven assists. Sharp had six blocks, Delauneville had four and Deslatte had 34 digs. Sharp had 10 kills.

ST. CHARLES TOPPLES LUSHER — The Comets won their ninth match of the season Tuesday against host Lusher.

The match went the distance with SCC winning 16-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15 and 15-12.

Orillion had 18 kills, 25 digs and three aces. Becnel had 25 assists and three aces. Doming had four blocks.

It was the second time the teams played this season, SCC also winning the first in five.

“It’s been a good matchup,” said Sullivan. “It makes the girls work hard to go out and get a win. It definitely brings everyone’s confidence up and to continue to get prepared for district play.”