Hahnville came out strong in its first round Division I playoff matchup at host Sulphur, but as the match wore on, the No. 8 seeded Tors pulled away from and ultimately eliminated the No. 25 seed Lady Tigers, 25-22, 25-8, 25-9.
“You know, I thought we played a really good first set,” said Tigers head coach Mendi LeBoeuf. “But when we didn’t quite finish that set off, I think it kind of unfortunately followed us through sets two and three … Sulphur’s a very good team that was in the top 8 for a reason. They presented a lot of challenges to us with their offense.”
The Tigers finished this season with a record of 11-11.
Hahnville’s Karlie Dufrene and Trista Naquin each led the Tigers in kills with six, while Colby Mayeux added four kills to go with 10 digs. Alaina Bergeron notched 16 assists and five digs. Sara Roussel had seven digs and Sandy Bourgeois five digs. Naquin also had two blocks.
It brought the season to an end for a very young Hahnville team, which will graduate just one senior from its starting lineup. Any loss is at best bittersweet for a coach, but LeBoeuf said the experience of playing on the road in the state playoffs against a strong home team will be valuable for her returning players next year.
“It’s a great opportunity to compete at that level … I think any playoff experience is a great one and a valuable one,” LeBoeuf said. “This season, we had such a new lineup, and a lot of players will return next year, which is very exciting.
This season, Bergeron led Hahnville in assists with 614. Mayeux led the Tigers in aces with 35 and in digs with 207. Roussel was second in digs with 201. Naquin was the team’s leader in kills with 248, with Dufrene adding 167.
LeBoeuf said she saw steady improvement from her players throughout the course of the season, making upgrades to their individual and collective game. In volleyball, she noted, adjusting on the fly is critical, and doing that on the Division I level can really only be learned by playing in those key moments throughout a season.
“That’s one of the most challenging parts of volleyball, because it’s so fast paced,” she said. “I thought we certainly made improvements in that area.”