Lady Eagles back to the Pontchartrain Center

Meo Knight and Abbie Bergeron would not be denied a trip to the Pontchartrain Center for a second year in a row.

Both notched career-highs Monday in the No. 3 Lady Eagles 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 25-18, 25-12) win over No. 14 First Baptist Christian at the Matchbox.

Knight had a career high 24 kills and Bergeron had 22 digs to send CCHS to the quarterfinals Thursday against Archbishop Hannan.

“(Meo) had her career-high with 24 kills so that was pretty good and our libero (Bergeron) with her career-high with 22 digs,” CCHS coach Kindra Halverson said. “Everyone is starting to mesh. We’re having fun and bringing in subs at different places, just in case, so we have a backup plan at the Pontchartrain Center. Everyone is really excited and ready to go. We’ve been looking forward to this since July.”

Game one was all CCHS with an early 5-3 lead that grew to 14-6 before the FBCS Eagles mounted a comeback to cut the lead to 19-10.

Brienna Hill had a dink and a kill to stop FBCS’ momentum and Knight hammered a kill that hit off the chest of a FBCS defender en route to a 25-12 win.

Hill had 14 kills, two blocks and a dig; Knight had three digs to go along with her career-high 24 kills; Caroline Byrne had 53 assists and seven digs; Celine Flores had 11 kills, 13 digs and two aces; Geralyn Garrett had seven kills, two blocks and three digs; Maria Templet had seven digs and two aces; and Olivia Crawford had six digs.

The second game was the only sign of trouble for the Lady Eagles. The teams were tied at 5-5 before FBCS pulled ahead 9-5 to force a CCHS timeout.

The Lady Eagles battled back to cut the lead to 10-9, but mistakes led to a 20-10 lead for FBCS.

Knight tried to rally the Lady Eagles with several more hard kills but the lead was too great and FBCS held on for a 25-20 win to tie the match.

“Other than that second game that we’ll pretend never happened, we played well,” Halverson said. “We controlled the tempo and obviously feeding Meo — she was on fire.”

Game three was the closest of the matches with the teams tied seven times before CCHS was able to pull away. After being tied at 13-13, the Lady Eagles pulled away for a 25-18 win to put the Pontchartrain Center within reach.

Central Catholic got back to its dominant style of play in game four with a 25-12 win.

The Lady Eagles have been highly ranked throughout the season and some likely thought of a trip back to the quarterfinals as a given.

Halverson said that hasn’t added any extra pressure and that the team has been waiting for this time of year to show how much they’ve improved since last season’s semifinal loss.

“This whole week is just supposed to be a fun week,” Halverson said. “We’ve been working so hard with extra workouts and all kinds of hard, tough practices. So, we’re ready for this week to be a fun week.”

CCHS will play Archbishop Hannan Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Division V quarterfinals at the Pontchartrain Center.

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