Lady Tigers keep district title hopes alive
By: SCOTT JOINER
The last time Morgan City’s volleyball team faced Ellender on Sept. 29, the Lady Tigers lost in three games.
This time around, MCHS returned the favor with a 3-1 win (25-14, 26-24, 25-16, 25-22) on Tuesday at home.
“They beat us in three the first time,” MCHS coach Christy Theriot said. “We had that deadpan face the whole time with no intensity.”
Morgan City looked much better in the rematch, jumping out to a 7-3 lead early on and a Jaiveianna Jones kill followed by an ace, Reina Fernandez put the Lady Tigers in the driver’s seat at 18-8. The strong play continued with the game ending with a 25-14 MCHS win.
The Lady Patriots came back strong in the second game with a 4-0 lead, but MCHS slowly chipped away and tied the game at 8-8. The game was tied again at 15-15 before Ellender pulled away, leading 24-18 at one point.
MCHS stormed back to tie it up at 24-24 but Ellender was able to take the game with a 26-24 win.
“Wins are always nice. I just wish we would’ve played like we did in the first game for the whole match,” Theriot said. “It’s like we raise the intensity then we relax like the other team isn’t going to play — and they do.”
The third game was all Morgan City with Kailyn Turner and Brooke Singleton hammering several hard kills and Katelyn Adams finished the game with an unexpected, subtle dink for a 25-16 MCHS win.
In the fourth game, the teams were tied eight different times.
Morgan City trailed 16-15 at one point but a ball that hung above the net with no Ellender players making a move was slammed down by Turner on a two-handed kill that swung momentum in the Lady Tigers’ favor.
The teams were tied at 20-20 but MCHS was able to hold on for a 25-22 win to seal the match at 3-1.
“I think momentum (was the key),” EHS coach Beth Guidry said. “We couldn’t finish it out. The girls played awesome and it was just some calls we disagreed with and that will kill you. Those calls can swing momentum and they did. Those calls cost them the game.”
Tangie Jones had six kills for Ellender, Shikira Bingham had five kills, Kyler Trosclair had 20 digs and Jasmine McKinley had 20 assists.
Ellender hopes to grab a win or two in its remaining district games to improve in the power ratings and make the playoff field.
“I think right now we’re third in district behind Morgan City and Assumption. Hopefully we can keep it up and rise in the power rankings and make the playoffs. This was a good game tonight and we just came out on the losing end,” Guidry said.
Turner had a game-high 11 kills, five blocks and a block assist for MCHS. Katelyn Adams had 19 assists, nine digs, four kills and two aces; Fernandez had 15 digs, five kills, three aces and an assist; Singleton had 13 assists, 15 kills, three digs, a block assist and an ace; Savannah Loupe had nine digs and two aces; Genesis Esteban had four kills, five digs and an assist; Jones had three kills and two blocks; Brittney Durham had 13 digs; and Allie Dragna had a dig.
Next up for MCHS is Assumption on the road Thursday. The Lady Tigers won the first meeting and expect a tough match against the traditionally strong program.
“We play Assumption on Thursday, beat them the first time,” Theriot said. “That was a good match all the way through. We’re going to have to play at the top of our game the whole way. We play South Lafourche the following Thursday. If we would win those two, we would be tied with Assumption for first.”
Consistency has been an issue this season for the Lady Tigers, but to the team’s credit, they understand that and are trying to get on the right track before the playoffs begin.
“The first game we played good and then we kind of slacked, but it was still good overall,” Singleton said. “Hopefully we can win our next game against Assumption and then next week (against South Lafourche).”