Rebels surge to win over SCC
Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2011
By RYAN ARENA
RESERVE — Barring a collapse, Riverside understood a win over rival St. Charles Catholic Tuesday would go a long way toward officially clinching a playoff berth, as well as keeping the Rebels in the driver’s seat on their way to clinching a district crown.
The Rebels (12-13, 5-0) certainly played like they knew the stakes. Quick starts in the first and third games helped propel Riverside to a win in three over the Comets, 25-13, 25-23 and 25-18.
“We were really pumped up today. We knew we had to win to get into the playoffs,” said the Rebels’ Toni Hebert. “We did a good job with our ball control and making the most of our possessions.”
Said teammate Danielle Sharp: “We needed this one and we all knew that. To get it (and be in position to reach the playoffs) feels amazing.”
Toni Hebert had 20 assists and three aces for Riverside. Danielle Sharp had 12 kills and three blocks. Kelsi Roussel added seven kills. Taylor Terrio had 10 assists and Shelby Deslatte had four aces.
For St. Charles (15-12, 2-3), Raven Becnel had eight assists and an ace. Chelsea Loupe had two blocks. Heather Orillion had 18 digs and Nicole Doming had 11 kills. Ashley Klibert also had an ace.
The second game proved to be the pivotal one; Riverside survived falling behind the Comets 17-13 and staved SCC off as the Comets answered late Rebel scores.
St. Charles led 8-4 after a tip by Orillion and then an errant return by Riverside. The Rebels rallied to take an 11-9 lead, scoring seven of the next eight points. Loupe’s kill got the Comets back on track and sparked a quick run that resulted in a 14-12 Comets lead; another 3-0 run started by a Doming kill made it 17-13.
“We were limiting our errors and found some consistency,” said St. Charles coach Kristin Sullivan. “We just weren’t able to push to the end and Riverside fought back.”
The Rebels fought back. Two straight Sharp kills, another by Roussel and an ace by Erica Delaneuville added up to a 6-0 Riverside run and a 19-17 Rebel lead. St. Charles tied it and the teams then began trading blows. A Sharp kill gave RA the lead; a serve sailed out of bounds to tie it. She slammed another kill and Riverside scored another behind it to make it 22-20, but SCC scored twice. Delaneuville slammed a kill to make it 23-22, but SCC again tied things up.
But finally the Rebels would put the game away, after Jenna Roussel found a spot just inbounds down the lefthand line for a kill, then Hebert added one more to finish things out.
Riverside marched to a big lead in the third game, leading 9-3 at one point. SCC marched back to cut the RA lead to 13-8. But Riverside went on a 6-1 run to make it 19-9. A trio of Sharp kills late made it 24-12, but the Comets wouldn’t go quietly, scoring six straight points before Roussel found an open spot for the 25th point and winning hit for Riverside.
The first game was very similar to the last, with RA building an early lead that ultimately proved too much for SCC to overcome. Sharp began the match with a kill; spikes by Delaneuville and Terrio and an ace by Katie Bailey helped push the lead to 10-2.
Like the third game, SCC fought back to get within striking distance. Loupe scored on a dink, Doming a kill, and a number of Rebel swings that missed inbounds-territory saw the Comets close within four at 14-10.
Roussel got Riverside going again, scoring on a kill to spark a 4-0 run and make it 18-10. Sharp’s spike made it 20-11 and a Terrio kill pushed RA within three of a win at 22-13. SCC wouldn’t score again as the Rebels closed the game out with five straight points.
“We’ve been stressing consistency lately … that’s the word of the day,” said Sullivan. “It’s hard working out of a hole, and we’re putting ourselves there too often.”
Riverside coach Briget Melancon said Sharp’s kills were impactful in more ways than the scoreboard reflected.
“Danielle tends to give us momentum and our team feeds off of (her spikes),” she said.
She also spoke of the rivalry between the schools in general and the positive buzz it creates at Riverside.
“They all know each other. It’s a good, friendly rivalry, and as I’m learning quickly, records and perception of what team is on top at the time doesn’t matter. Everyone gets up for this game; they bring all of LaPlace here and we bring all of Reserve to LaPlace.”
JOHN CURTIS DOWNS REBELS — Curtis (13-10, 4-1 remains a major factor in the District 4-IV championship race after downing Riverside (12-14, 5-1) in three games Thursday, 25-18, 25-12 and 25-10.
Toni Hebert had eight assists. Danielle Sharp had five kills and Shelby Deslatte had 23 digs for Riverside.
With two games remaining for each, if Riverside and Curtis both win out, they will be co-district champions. “I’m disappointed in the way we played, but I think we can turn it into a positive,” said Melancon.
“Because it prepared us for that feeling … nobody in the locker room liked the way that felt at all. And nobody wants to see our season end like that”