No. 21 Destrehan battled back and forth with No. 12 seed Central-Baton Rouge, but in the end the latter closed all three sets strong the its Division I opening round match on Thursday, earning a 26-24, 25-22, 25-17 victory to advance to round two.
It ended the Ladycats’ season, the team posting a final record of 16-11. While Destrehan entered the season with high hopes and expectations, the heavy dose of adversity dealt by Hurricane Ida threw much into disarray, and DHS head coach Edward Borgstede said his players have a world of things to be proud of.
“With what they’ve all been through, and on top of that knowing we lost two-and-a-half weeks of practices and matches, for them to come in and pick it up like they did showed the great chemistry they have together,” Borgstede said. “To be honest, we probably thought it was going to be a lot harder to bring this together than it ended up being, because the girls made it easy.
“They didn’t miss a beat, and I think getting back together and being around each other really eased a lot of anxiety for them. I think being around each other was maybe the best therapy possible.”
Central (18-7) fell in five sets to No. 5 Southside in the second round. The team entered the playoffs on a wave of momentum, earning wins in 12 of its final 15 matches, including a seven-match winning streak in mid-October.
Borgstede said his team started fast and was game to challenge a strong Central squad, even if the final result wasn’t a victory.
“I thought we came out and went point for point,” Borgstede said. “They’d go on a run and we’d catch up. We never really let them get out too far ahead (in the first set), and in the second set they got out on us early but we turned it around. A point here, a point there, and maybe we could have changed things. I never really felt like we were out of it, because every time they’d get rolling, we’d answer back.”
Ryley Boyne wrapped up a dominant career at Destrehan with 16 kills, six digs and two aces in her final start with the Wildcats. Skylar DeFrisco had 28 assists. Khara Morton made give kills and Chloe Schexnayder had six digs.
Boyne’s junior season saw her challenge for the state’s kills crown. The Wildcats’ missed too much time for her to challenge for that title again, but the McNeese State committed hitter posted another strong season to finish her run as one of the top volleyball stars to ever compete in St. Charles Parish. Boyne finished with more than 1,500 kills in her DHS career.
“She took (the loss) really hard. She’s such a competitor,” said Borgstede. “Just as much at practice as she is in a match. Ryley’s the best player I’ve had the opportunity to coach, whether at Destrehan or anywhere else, and her future is so bright.
“You can’t measure what she’s meant to the program, not just her play but the type of leader she is. She inspires her teammates to raise their game. It’s going to be a long time before another one like her comes through.”
He’s proud of her, and just as much, proud of his team as a whole. Led by six seniors, Destrehan pushed through adversity for a successful season.
“We finished 16-11, and that doesn’t indicate how well they played all season,” Borgstede said. “Our strength of schedule was really tough. We had to go on the road all season and they never let it get to them. I couldn’t have been prouder. They brought an upbeat attitude with them and pulled together all season long.”