Destrehan couldn’t find answers to a powerful East Ascension team on the road Wednesday night, as the Ladycats’ volleyball season came to an end.
No. 7 seeded EA swept No. 26 Destrehan in three sets, 25-13, 25-15 and 25-16 in the opening round of the Division I state playoffs. The Wildcats wrapped up their season with a record of 20-20.
An underclassmen-heavy DHS team had found a groove in the middle of the season after a slow start, but in the season’s final two weeks the team began a slump that carried over into the playoffs—Wednesday’s loss was the team’s sixth straight to close the season, and DHS lost eight of its final nine matches. Prior to that, the Wildcats had won 8-of-10 matches.
A draw of East Ascension (30-11) didn’t help matters, as the Spartans extended their win streak to five matches, and are a little less than three weeks removed from a 10-match win streak in October.
While Destrehan coach Edward Borgstede conceded youth must be served — six sophomores played in the playoff game on a roster with just two senior starters — he was nonetheless disappointed in what he perceived a loss of focus in the season’s final weeks.
“It showed tonight,” Borgstede said. “We played pretty hard tonight, it wasn’t an effort thing. I’m not sure what it was. We played the same number of matches last year, so we shouldn’t have hit a wall. I just expected more. We’re still a team that has to learn to win, and it starts with wanting to compete. You’ve got to want it, whether it’s a 9 a.m. match or a 6 p.m. match.
“Yes, (East Ascension) was better than us. But this is the high school playoffs. You have to come out with fire. It’s up to me to get that out of them next season.”
Ryley Boyne had 11 kills against EA. Alyssa Vicknair was the team’s top passer with 17 assists. Mallory Laumann added 12 digs.
Borgstede said the future remains bright, with most of this roster returning for next season — and even beyond that, for many players. He added a strong crop of young talent is en route via middle school grads, projecting to add height to a DHS team that was already the tallest in Borgstede’s tenure behind his hitters Boyne and Addison Benefield.
“We’ll have a bunch of our girls playing travel ball, more than we’ve had here before,” Borgstede said. “There’s still a lot to be encouraged about. We just have to take that next step.”