Destrehan Ladycats off to best start in years

Sarah Simon of Destrehan

Destrehan volleyball is off to its best start in years.

The Ladycats are 13-3 after their most recent wins, a district sweep over Bonnabel and an exciting five-set battle with Belle Chasse. The team’s lone three losses have come to Dominican, Mount Carmel and Vandebilt Catholic, a trio of power programs and legitimate championship contenders.

Destrehan coach Edward Borgstede sees a group that can accomplish some special things this season.

“This group is just different,” Borgstede said. “With this team, I’m confident every time they step on the court that we’re about to get the best they’ve got. They leave it all out there.”

The 13-3 start is the best mark the program has had since Borgstede joined the program. Destrehan has struggled at times early in seasons under his watch, with an eye on playing a tough slate of matches to prepare for major district and playoff games down the line.

This time, the Wildcats skipped the struggle altogether.

“We’ve been 5-11, 4-12 at times, 16 matches into a season,” Borgstede said. “It’s not like I’ve changed the schedule. We’re playing basically the same slate, and added Mount Carmel and Vandebilt … this group plays with the aggressiveness we’ve been looking for. A lot of times, the mistakes we do make are ones I can live with, be it a hitting error from swinging away or on a deep serve trying to push their defense back.”

Junior Ryley Boyne has been one of the program’s top producers over the past two seasons, but she’s established herself as one of the elite hitters in the state: Boyne leads Louisiana in kills and in hitting percentage in 2020. Teammate Addison Benefield ranks third in hitting percentage. The Wildcats’ strength and accuracy at the net has been a chief reason for the breakout performance and 13-3 start.

Destrehan dispatched Bonnabel with ease in a district contest, 25-5, 25-7 and 25-4. , moving DHS to 2-0 in league play.

Against Belle Chasse, Destrehan earned a 25-16, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23 and 16-14 victory that went down to the wire. It represented a rarity this season in that DHS trailed two games to one and fell on the brink of a loss.

“I was proud of them for being so fresh going into the late stages of that match. It went about two hours and change,” Borgstede said. “They really could have packed it up but instead they came together and made the adjustments we needed to.”

Dominican swept the Wildcats last week, 25-12, 25-15 and 25-13.

Borgstede admitted Dominican, like Vandebilt Catholic and Mount Carmel, represent a tier of program his team is still striving to reach.

“They’re just a level above us,” Borgstede said.

Over the three matches, Boyne logged 45 kills, Benefield 12 blocks, and Skylar Defrisco and Sarah Simon made 37 and 25 assists, respectively. Chloe Schexnaydre made 37 digs and served nine aces.

On Saturday, his team has a chance to make a big impact in the push for playoff seeding. DHS will play a pair of road games on the same day against a pair of Top 10 programs in Division I. At 11 a.m., DHS will face host Dutchtown, then will stop to play a match at St. Amant on the way back home.Destrehan was hovering in the mid-teens of the power point rankings last week, officially 14th prior to its game with Dominican last Tuesday.

 

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