Morgan City heads to No. 5 Cabrini

By GEOFF STOUTE

gstoute@daily-review.com

Morgan City will try to snap the second-round slump it’s had in recent years when they hit the road today to face Cabrini at 5 p.m.

The Lady Tigers have fallen to the No. 1 seed three out of four times that they’ve made the playoffs, including the last two years when the squad fell to Assumption (2010) and St. Thomas More (2011).

While Cabrini (29-10), which received a first-round bye, is a fifth seed in the Division 2 bracket, they present a formidable challenge for No. 12 Morgan City (23-17) as nearly all the New Orleans squad’s losses have come against some of the state’s best volleyball teams this year.

Nine of Cabrini’s 10 losses have come against the likes of Mount Carmel, Dominican, St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Thomas More and Metairie Park Country Day. The squad also lost to Hahnville, who were beaten earlier this year by Morgan City.

Cabrini did pick up a win against Dominican in one of the times it did face the fellow New Orleans squad.

Morgan City coach Christy Theriot said she has heard that Cabrini is strong on defense.

“They’re always a strong team, but I know they definitely have strong defense,” Theriot said. “Everybody I talk to says strong defensively, which is why we have to serve aggressively and be able to place our hits (carefully).”

Morgan City started off its first round victory against Central of Baton Rouge with successful serving as junior Savannah Loupe connected on four aces to help Morgan City jump out to a 7-0 lead.

However, things were not all well in the serving zone as Morgan City missed nine serves in the match.

“We definitely still have to work on that,” Theriot said after her squad’s 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-23) first round victory Thursday. “We’re going to have to. We’ve got to be more consistent, yet stay aggressive.”

In the win, though, the Lady Tigers did receive solid play from its front row, as Jaiveianna Jones and May Grogan each recorded double-digit kills.

Jones led the squad with 15 kills and four blocks as well as an ace and a dig, while Grogan added 10 kills, two blocks, a block assist, an assist and a dig.

Outside hitter Kloé Liner added seven kills, 10 digs and an ace, while Ariel Trim recorded five kills along with two blocks, a block assist and six digs.

Other Morgan City contributors included Katelyn Adams, four kills, 31 assists and eight digs; Loupe, five aces and 14 digs; Elizabeth Esteban, 10 digs; and Marilynn Bailey, one ace and six digs.

In addition to playing in unfamiliar surroundings, the Lady Tigers will be playing in a small gym.

“They say it’s a small gym,” Theriot said. “I’ve never played in there.”

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