ESJ rallies past SCC

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 13, 2013


LAPLACE — East St. John’s off to one of its strongest starts in some time on the volleyball court. A big part of that? They refuse to stay down.
The Ladycats trailed in each of its first two games in Tuesday’s home match with St. Charles Catholic, but overcame those deficits in each en route to a 3-0 sweep of the Comets, 26-24, 25-21 and 25-16.
ESJ trailed 21-18 in the first game and 20-15 in the second before rallying to win in each. The Wildcats seized early control in the third game and never trailed after taking a 2-1 lead at its outset.
“I feel like we fed off the momentum of each game and rolled it into the last one,” said East St. John senior outside hitter Elizabeth Scioneaux.  “We ran more plays today so they’d not have a great idea of what was coming. Our setter (Eden Keller) was really good all day, making sure everyone knew where to be and giving us a chance to finish plays.”
The Wildcats moved to 5-2 with the win. Tuesday’s game was the team’s home opener at the former Leon Godchaux Jr. High.
St. Charles led 23-21 late in the first game, but East St. John’s Al’lante Snyder took control, accounting for the game’s next three points via two spikes and a strong shot from midcourt. The Comets tied the game at 24 on Alexis Tran’s kill, but serving and return errors for SCC clinched an opening win for ESJ.
The Comets seemingly took control of the second game at its midpoint. Kaitlyn Lowry slammed down a kill, then Brittany Tregre accounted for points on an ace and a tip to make it a 14-10 SCC lead. That grew to a 20-15 lead before a dominant Wildcats surge, East St. John scoring the next nine points of the game to take a 24-20 lead. That run included two Snyder kills and a string of Comet errors at its tail end, the last of which on a return to contribute the 25th and clinching point for ESJ.
“At the end of those games, we really regained focus,” said Scioneaux. “We made a point to lessen mistakes toward the end and to do what we knew we had to do to win a game.”
The Ladycats never looked back from there. A Snyder kill followed by a Taylor Duhe block and a scoring hit by Jessica Scioneaux made it a 7-3 ESJ advantage. A kill by Darvi Dinvaut helped ignite a 6-0 run that Snyder capped with a trio of consecutive aces. A tip by Brooke Tregre helped get St. Charles going, and the Comets made a run to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 18-14.
But Scioneaux and Snyder closed things out in impressive fashion, each making two kills and Scioneaux added another score on a midcourt hit that fell just inbounds. The Wildcats scored the final six points of the match to close out a 3-0 victory.
“(Scioneaux) is a big hitter for us now,” said Smith. “We had her at libero before. We’ve been shifting people around to find our best lineup. She came to me and said, ‘Coach, I’ll do whatever I have to do to help my team, but I think I have so much more to offer on the outside (as a hitter). She can really jump and she’s added a lot to our attack.”
Smith also praised Melinda Perrilloux for making a number of crucial plays.
“She hit several good down balls when we needed it,” said Smith.
For the Comets, the loss was a frustrating one given the team’s lead in each of the first two games. After starting the season 2-0, the Comets (2-4) have fallen in four straight.
“It’s all about confidence for this team,” said St. Charles coach Kristin Sullivan. “When this group gets down, they tend to get down on themselves. We’re trying to find that mental strength to push through the rough patches. They’re sometimes looking up at the score instead of just playing, and I tell them, ‘That’s my job. Don’t worry about the score, I’ll do that for you.’”
The string of losses hasn’t curtailed Sullivan’s optimism for coming matches, however, noting that the Comets have shown flashes of strong play all season.
“It’s not an issue with skills,” said Sullivan. “Our defense has played tough this season, getting digs when we need them and blocking well up the middle now for the most part. Kaitlyn (Lowry) had two nice blocks tonight. Offensively, we’ve struggled. We need to find a way to consistently score points and put this all together.
ESJ BESTS KARR IN THREE — The Wildcats ran their record to 6-2 Thursday with a win in three games over Karr, 25-5, 25-23 and 25-22.
Snyder led the Wildcats with 20 kills.