For the third time this season, Hahnville pushed district volleyball rival H.L. Bourgeois to the limit — only this time, it was win or go home.
But as the Braves did in two regular season matches, it survived the Tigers one more time, earning a Division I first round playoff victory over Hahnville in five sets, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 26-28 and 15-7 at Bourgeois Wednesday night.
Bourgeois (30-7), the No. 10 seed in Division 1, advances to face No. 7 East Ascension in round two. The Spartans defeated Destrehan in round one.
All three matches between Hahnville (19-19) and Bourgeois went the full five games. The 23rd seeded Tigers entered the playoffs riding high, playing perhaps its best ball of what was an up-and-down season on the court. Hahnville went 6-2 in its last eight regular season matches, at one point reeling off five wins in a row. But Bourgeois was also red hot, winning 9 of 11 prior to the playoffs.
Beyond this season, these teams were quite familiar with one another, the two programs collectively responsible for their district’s past several crowns.
“I thought we fought hard, worked hard and kept our composure,” said Hahnville head coach Mendi LeBoeuf. “We did a great job fighting back after losing the first two to force a fifth set. We just fell a little short at the end. Bourgeois is a really good team that defends extremely well, and they make it difficult for you.”
Brianna Plaisance led Hahnville in kills with 21. Chelsea Plaisance added 13 kills. Yelah Moses had six kills and six blocks. Danae Lorio had five kills and five blocks. Trista Naquin had six kills and two aces, and Bailey Roux had 44 assists.
In the final game, a handful of hitting errors proved costly for Hahnville—eight of them in all.
“We’d played better than that throughout, but at the end we really struggled for whatever reason,” LeBoeuf said. “When you’re playing to 15 especially, that really hurts.”
To force that final set, the Tigers persevered on the season’s final day as it did many times before during the ’19 campaign. With eight senior players returning from a strong 2018 lineup, expectations were heightened, but the team had to battle through several bouts of adversity. At one point, the team lost six times in a row, only to bounce right back for six straight wins.
“There were times we struggled for sure. We weren’t exactly where we wanted to be as a team, but everyone continued to fight,” LeBoeuf said. “Our eight seniors, they hung in, and I’m very proud of them.”
Though the season ultimately did end on Wednesday night, the Tigers finished the year playing at a peak level.
“We were able to pick up three spots in our power ranking over the last week of the regular season, which is uncommon,” LeBoeuf said. “It may not have been exactly what we were hoping for, but we came together and I thought we ended playing on a high note.”