Rams best Wildcats in 3, off to strong start

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 12, 2014


EDGARD — The West St. John Rams are mostly intact from a season ago and have continued to build chemistry. The team looked like a well-oiled machine Thursday against East St. John.

The Rams bested the rival Wildcats for the second time this season, sweeping ESJ in three games, 25-23, 25-16 and 25-19. 

“We went back and forth with them last time,” West St. John’s Kaionne Sorapuru said. “Once we won the first two, we knew we had to stay up and finish it in three.”

Dmyriah Herbert scored 10 kills to lead the Ram hitters. Maya Trench added eight and Sorapuru had four. Brittany August had 15 assists. Tre’Shaun Trench had five digs while Sorapuru had four. Amaya Lumar served two aces. 

For the Wildcats (4-6), Melinda Perrilloux had seven kills. Jessica Scioneaux made 12 assists.

West St. John led 13-10 in the first game when it started to create separation following a Sorapuru kill. East St. John coach Ronnie Smith called a time out after WSJ pushed the lead to 17-12 and it seemed to ignite the Wildcats; kills by Perrilloux and Alicia Rios and a tip by Scioneaux cut the lead to 18-16. A Perrilloux ace drew ESJ as close as 22-21, but Herbert slammed home a kill to push it to 23-21. Kariontae Victor’s ace cut the lead to one again at 24-23, but an errant return clinched the game for West St. John.

The Rams (4-1) put things away early in the second game, an 11-1 run in the beginning stages giving WSJ a 14-4 lead and control of the action. Maya Trench and Herbert each had two kills while Lumar served an ace in the run. ESJ rallied to cut the lead to 18-14 but got no closer in a 25-16 WSJ victory.

West St. John led by a small margin for most of the third game before a pair of late Herbert kills helped the team open a 22-17 lead. WSJ scored the final three points of the day to clinch both the game and match.

Throughout the contest, West St. John was able to stall East St. John runs with big hits at the net. It was a marked improvement for a Rams team that had lacked enough true hitting threats in the past, but is now drawing production from three-to-four hitters a contest. 

“It’s something we’ve practiced,” Sorapuru said. “We had some issues today with serving and coverage that we need to work on. But we’ve learned how to hit it down compared to previous seasons. It all goes back to practice.”

Rams coach Glenda Mattos also said the hitting improvement is no accident, noting the chemistry between her finishers and August, the team’s setter.

“Doogie (Assistant coach Brandon Dumas) and I worked with them on technique and arm strength,” Mattos said. “We’ve worked on that for a long time. Right now, you’re seeing them about where we want them to be.”

Mattos was also pleased at her players’ ability to shake off adversity.

“In the past, if (East St. John) would make a run, they’d get down on themselves,” Mattos said.

“They’d get wiped out if things started to turn. We’ll remind them, there’s no reason to get rattled. So you made a mistake? Push it aside, it’s over now.”

Smith acknowledged that youth must be served on his side. East St. John boasts a number of first-year starters and underclassmen.

“It will take time for us to build,” Smith said. “We’re making too many young mistakes right now. 

“They’re playing really hard. Effort isn’t a problem at all, it’s just getting where we need to be mentally. That takes reps.”

Smith said Perrilloux and Scioneaux, two of his most experienced players, have set a good example and are off to strong starts. 

He was impressed by West St. John. The Wildcats swept the Rams a year ago, but Smith said he sees a different team on the opposing side this time around.

“I’m totally impressed with how far they’ve come,” Smith said. “They really hustle. There were a number of balls we thought we’d put away that they came up with, kept alive.”


WEST ST. JOHN DEF. WARREN EASTON— The Rams traveled to Warren Easton Tuesday and came away with a 25-12, 25-11 and 25-4 victory.

August had 20 assists and three aces to lead the Rams. Herbert had eight kills. Sorapuru had four kills while Maya Trench and Mychelle Lumar each had three. Amaya Lumar added two aces. Tre’Shaun Trench had six digs.


WEST ST. JOHN DEF. ST. JAMES — The Rams bested the rival Wildcats on the road, winning 25-10, 25-10 and 25-6. 

Herbert had eight kills, while Sorapuru and Maya Trench each added six. Sorapuru had four digs. Talika Howard served three aces.