Rebels advance with bi-district win

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2011



RESERVE — It wasn’t the kind of post-win atmosphere you’d expect after a playoff match following Riverside’s win in three games Tuesday over West St. Mary.

Indeed, the Division IV bi-district victory (by a score of 25-14, 25-17 and 25-23) vaulted Riverside into round two for a regional clash with No. 4 seeded Newman. (That game was scheduled to be played Friday evening, after presstime).

But the Lady Rebels have high expectations this postseason, and they were not satisfied with what was categorized as something of a flat performance.

“We need to get into a better state of mind,” said Riverside’s Danielle Sharp, who finished the day with 11 kills and a block. “We had no energy today.”

Said Riverside coach Briget Melancon: “It’s good that it’s behind us. But if we want to get to where we want to be, we really need to step it up.

“We need to play up to our potential. When we don’t, you walk out of the gym not proud of what you’ve done. I know none of the girls were satisfied today.”

Riverside (20-18) originally wanted to play the game later in the week, as the Rebels were off of school on both Monday and Tuesday. But due to scheduling conflicts, it wasn’t possible for West St. Mary.

“There was no routine, which didn’t help. But we’ve got to move forward,” said Melancon.

The first two games saw West St. Mary trade blows with the Rebels early before Riverside took control in the end.

In the first, the teams alternated points until the score was tied at 5-5. The Rebels’ fifth point kickstarted a quick 6-0 run, fueled by three aces by Jenna Roussel. It made it 10-5, but West St. Mary answered with a 5-0 run of its own to tie.

Taylor Terrio got the lead back for Riverside behind two consecutive tips. Sharp slammed a kill to make it 13-10, and Kelsi Roussel served a trio of aces, each behind the other. She’d serve five aces during a 10-0 run that made it 20-10. A pair of kills by Gerianna Lyons fueled a brief WSM answer, but Riverside clinched the game with a run of five points, including two Toni Hebert aces and a Sharp kill.

West St. Mary came out in the second game on a roll, scoring six of the first seven points. Riverside quickly turned things around after a Sharp kill made it 6-2; she’d secure another and Shelby Deslatte served two aces as RA scored seven of the next eight to make it 8-7. West St. Mary took the lead back on a Tiffany Sanders ace. The teams found themselves tied at 14 before Riverside turned on the jets. Two Sharp kills and a pair of Hebert aces fueled a 6-0 run to make it 20-14. Sharp ended the game with a kill to give RA a 2-0 lead.

The third game didn’t follow the same script, as this time a competitive contest in the early goings would finish that way. This time, West St. Mary stayed a step ahead much of the way. It led 13-10 before an Hebert tip and two Sharp kills tied thing up; it led 15-13 after a scoring hit by Chelsee Connor and 16-15 after a Lyons block. Riverside took the lead on a Jenna Roussel kill, but Lyons tied it at 17 with one of her own. Both teams essentially traded points until WSM tied the game at 23. Riverside then finished things out, scoring two straight and capping the match on a Deslatte hit that West St. Mary couldn’t return.

“We didn’t want to go another game,” said Sharp. “We had to focus and finish them at the end because nobody wanted to see a fourth.”

Hebert finished with seven aces, five kills, 13 assists and a block. Deslatte had 19 digs. Dani Hebert had 11 assists.

Riverside played Newman earlier this season in tournament action, a match the Greenies were victorious in.

Melancon said the Rebels had some different personnel then, due to injury and absence, but that she felt there was something of an advantage to having played Newman once before.

That said, the coach reiterated that the focus going forward is on how the Rebels play, not on who they play.

“If we pass well, we serve well, we have strong serve receive … then we’ll be more than fine. If we don’t, it doesn’t matter what they’re doing on the other side, we won’t be successful.”

Results of Friday’s Newman game will be in Wednesday’s edition.