Destrehan and Hahnville may not compete in the same volleyball district for now, but a spirited match between the rivals Saturday at DHS indicated as far as each team was concerned, the stakes were still high as ever.
After the teams battled to a stalemate after the first two sets, Destrehan finished strong to tally a 30-28, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15 victory to move to 18-6 this season.
For Destrehan, the match carried a bit of extra incentive beyond power points and rivalry bragging rights. This was the lone matchup between the St. Charles Parish combatants this season, and Destrehan players wanted to turn the tables after Hahnville swept the Wildcats in the teams’ matchup last season, that by a score of a 25-11, 25-20, 25-20.
“We were beyond excited,” said DHS senior setter Alyssa Vicknair. “Last year, we kind of got blown out. This time, we refused to lose.”
Ryley Boyne tallied a match-high 30 kills, complemented by 10 from Addison Benefield. Vicknair made 26 assists, while Skylar Defrisco added 10. Chloe Schexnayder had eight digs to lead the DHS defense.
Trista Naquin led Hahnville (9-9) hitters with 17 kills, while Karlie Dufrene had 16 and Colby Mayeux added nine. Dufrene also had three blocks, and Ella Wilkie two. Sara Roussel (22 digs), Alaina Bergeron and Dufrene (14 digs each) and Sandy Bourgeois (13 digs) paced the defense, while Bergeron notched 41 assists.
The first set showed both teams were ready to go for the 10 a.m. start, and what fans in attendance got was a back and forth, high-paced exhibition of powerful hitting and tenacious defense. Hahnville maintained a slight advantage throughout a large portion of the battle – a Naquin kill gave Hahnville a 15-13 lead, and it maintained a one or two point margin ahead until Destrehan tied it on a quick string of points capped by a Boyne kill.
Hahnville pulled back ahead 21-18 following kills by Avery Edgar and Dufrene. Destrehan scored the next three – or so it seemed, to tie things at 21 following a Boyne kill. Destrehan was whistled for a violation, however, which was docked after a time out, and the Tigers led 22-20.
“It was pretty cool because this was a game of runs,” said Destrehan head coach Edward Borgstede. “We’d get on a run, then they would. It had a really good flow to it, and you just knew you had to get that side out to get the ball back.”
Destrehan retook the lead after three straight points. Hahnville tied it by winning a point that was preserved by a clutch dig by Bourgeois, then Naquin made a kill to pull HHS within game-point. Boyne tied it with a kill before the teams traded serving errors. Naquin and Boyne followed up with respective kills to make it 26-26. HHS took the lead on a Naquin kill, and the teams traded points until it was 28 all. Boyne gave her team the lead again at 29-28, then Destrehan outlasted Hahnville for the final point of a marathon first game.
“I think we knew we needed to push through,” said Boyne. “We started talking and we said, ‘We’re not losing this game, no matter what it takes.’ We gave it all of our energy today.”
DHS led 9-4 early in the second set, but Colby Mayeux stepped up to serve and helped propel a Tigers run that left the teams tied at 12. The Tigers began pulling away in the late teens, leading 19-15 at one point and controlling the action from there.
“We were pumped up for this game,” said Hahnville senior setter Alaina Bergeron. “We were all hyped and we didn’t get down on ourselves … I think this was one of the best games we’ve played. Unfortunately we lost, but I think we’re coming together more and the best is ahead.”
Destrehan found its groove in sets three and four. A 7-0 run highlighted by a pair of aces by Boyne as well as kills by Corinne Marcel and Sadie Rochelle pushed DHS to a 16-9 lead, and DHS rode that wave to a 2 games to 1 lead.
DHS led 8-2 in the fourth and final game before HHS rallied within one. But with DHS leading 12-10, a Benefield kill ignited a 5-0 run that gave Destrehan control for good.
“I thought we played pretty well and pretty consistent throughout,” said HHS head coach Mendi LeBoeuf, whose Tigers turned over most of its starting lineup of a year ago after graduation. “We defended the ball well, especially considering their high powered outside hitting … this is always a fun game to play. We love to compete against each other.
“I think volleyball is alive and well in St. Charles Parish, and that’s a really positive thing.”
The win pushed Destrehan to its 18th win, and the Ladycats are enjoying the spoils of a breakthrough season – and their commitment to making it happen.
“We went in with the mentality we were really gonna change it up this year. We wanted to make a statement,” said Benefield. “This group is really close. It shows on the court and in our record.”