Destrehan coach Edward Borgstede described his team’s loss last week to a powerful Dominican volleyball squad as giving his team “a little something to think about.”
“They’re where we’d like to be,” Borgstede said.
Despite the loss in that game, Borgstede is pleased with the overall trajectory of his young group. A Wildcats team with just two senior starters began the season 1-4 before rallying to win three in a row prior to the Dominican loss.
“We’re trying to find our identity,” Borgstede said. “I’m really pleased with the play of our sophomores and juniors. There are times we have five sophomores and a senior on the floor. A lot of our rotation is young. So there are times we have to take our lumps. But we’ve had some really promising things happen, too.”
One such thing came last week in his team’s win over South Lafourche, a matchup that hasn’t typically gone the Wildcats’ way in recent seasons.
“They’ve killed us since I’ve been here, so to go there and get the win in a nice atmosphere is encouraging,” Borgstede said. “We’re doing a great job blocking, which is what I want us to be known for. Defense starts at the net.”
The team’s play at the net has indeed been strong. Ryley Boyne has 140 kills this season, while Nijai Smith has 58. Addison Benefield has 54 blocks, while Boyne has 23.
Boyne broke out last season as a starter and has seen her game evolve further this season.
“I’d put Boyne up against anyone else in the state at outside hitter. She’s just a machine,” Borgstede said. “She eats right and takes care of her body, gets plenty of rest, does all the right things.”
The team also introduced two new setters to the mix in Skyler DeFrisco and Alyssa Vicknair, who have 100 and 55 assists, respectively.
“They’ve stepped in and I’ve really been pleased with their work,” Borgstede said. “We’ve had to shift some things due to injury (setter Chelsea Franck is sidelined), but we’ve been able to shift gears on the fly.”
For that, he credits the work ethic of his players.
“It’s rewarding to know the volleyball IQ they have has grown to the point where we can change the whole offense and in one practice, they grasp it,” Borgstede said. “It shows they’re studying, doing their assignments, watching videos and really running with what we’re asking of them.”