Improved Rams’ season ends at Catholic-PC

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2011



NEW ROADS — West St. John saw a much improved volleyball team in 2010, but its season came to an end at the hands of a tough opponent this week, falling to Catholic Pointe-Coupee in three games, 25-11, 25-20 and 25-12 in a Division V bi-district playoff game.

Tahajenik Howard had five kills, two digs and a block for the Rams. Arnelle Jack had five digs and two blocks and Breion Sorapuru had three kills and three digs.

“I was definitely happy about the way we competed,” said West St. John coach Brandon Dumas. “They played hard from the opening serve to the final one. For me, win, lose, draw, I can deal with any of that. But my concern is whether I know my team fought its hardest, and if they do that I can be completely satisfied.”

Catholic hosted the match as the No. 11 seed in Division V. WSJ was the No. 22 seed.

The Rams’ best chance to extend the match came in game two, where WSJ rebounded from a 14-point loss in the first game to push for a potential tied match. The teams were tied at 20 before Catholic scored the final five points to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

“We played with a lot of intensity in the second game. We covered a lot of ground defensively,” said Dumas. “The main thing that let us down was our serving. We just made too many errors. If we change that, we have a good chance at winning there and maybe turning the match around. There were a lot of positives though in that game. It showed the girls we can compete with a team like Catholic.”

Dumas said that his team had seen teams with a bit more firepower in district play (Central Catholic and Houma Christian are the third and fifth seeds in the Division V bracket respectively), Catholic’s scheme and the tenacity of its players make them a force.

“They’re very well coached and very scrappy,” he said. “What they lack in power, they make up for in their defensive scheme and that their players just have each other’s backs. You have to be on point to score against them, because they cover their zones and for each other and they make very few mistakes. They’re a good, solid team.”

The Rams finished the season with a record of 9-16, a stark improvement over a 2010 campaign that resulted in just two wins. While West St. John made the playoffs a season ago, it was due to divisional alignment (its district only had three teams, and all qualified automatically, while this year it boasts four). This year, Dumas said his team earned their way in.

“We earned our spot as opposed to just being given a spot,” he said. “We won some games early on that I don’t think many would have expected us to, and that pushed us up in some people’s eyes … to me, I don’t look at wins and losses so much as, ‘Did we improve?’ And if we continue to do that each and every day, the wins will come, I know that.”