Lady Cardinals take Group 2 title at HLB tourney


E.D. White Catholic’s Emily Weimer attempts to hit past H.L. Bourgeois player Jerin Babineaux on Saturday at the Lady Braves Classic in Gray. (Photo by Keyon K. Jeff/Correspondent)


GRAY — As two of the local powerhouse volleyball programs, it is extra special when E.D. White and H.L. Bourgeois play each other.

The Lady Cardinals needed extra points Saturday afternoon to put away Bourgeois in straight sets 29-27, 27-25 and take first place in Group 2 of the Lady Braves Classic.

“All the girls know each other. So anytime we play Bourgeois, it’s a fun competition,” Lady Cardinals coach Mary Cavell said. “They wouldn’t let us finish games easy. We had to go that extra mile to finish it.”

“It was anybody’s match. Both teams played very hard,” Lady Braves coach Peter Verret III said. “It came down to unforced errors. We made an off-block and didn’t pick it up. That was the difference.”

The Lady Cardinals were led by Emily Weimer with 11 kills, 11 digs and a block, along with Lindsie Sanders (five kills), Sydney Bordis (eight digs, an ace) and Claire Chiasson (24 assists, an ace).

The Lady Braves were led by Ciara Williams with eight kills, followed by Rebekah Porche (five digs, 15 assists), Jerin Babineaux (four kills, three blocks) and Brenna Copes (10 digs).

Game 1 was a back-and-forth event featuring long rallies, 13 ties and six lead changes. After being tied at 11, E.D. White (10-2) took control with a 9-3 run. Three kills by Weimer during that stretch gave the Lady Cardinals a 20-14 advantage. H.L. Bourgeois answered with an 8-2 streak of its own, including a kill from Babineaux that tied the game at 22. With the match knotted at 27, Sanders and Weimer had back-to-back kills that gave E.D. White the game.

“I liked how we continued to hang tough, looked for the holes and let them make the mistake and not us,” Cavell said. “We wanted to go to our go-to girls, our middle hitters. But our outside hitters Lindsie Sanders and Michelle Riviere came in and did a great job. It was a whole team effort.”

H.L. Bourgeois (6-5) started Game 2 more urgently. An ace from Madison Percle and a kill by Kiara Freeman gave the Lady Braves an early 7-5 lead. However, the passing of Chiasson and Bordis allowed E.D. White to rally back and it had match point at 24-19.

On the brink of losing, H.L. Bourgeois scored five straight points behind an ace from Copes and two kills by Williams to tie the game at 24. It took consecutive kills from outside hitters Sanders and Riviere to finally give E.D. White the victory.

“We had to adjust the type of sets we were seeing. We knew we had to serve strong to keep them out of their offense to stay with them.” Verret said. “Our defense was good, and our offense we moved the ball around well. But E.D. White passed the ball very well. With that they were able to run their offense.”

Both coaches agreed this year’s edition of the Lady Braves Classic was probably the deepest and most spirited in the tournament’s history.

“We had outstanding teams from throughout the state — from Lake Charles to Belle Chasse,” Verret said. “I’m so appreciative of all the coaches. We had great volleyball. They appreciated the competition and the hospitality we put on for them.”

“Peter always does a great job with this wonderful tournament,” Cavell said. “We’ve probably had the best preseason competition for any ball clubs I ever had.”

Two weeks into the volleyball season, both coaches said they like how well their teams are playing. Still there are areas to improve on before they get into district and beyond.

“Our only two loses both came in the final game 15-13. So we couldn’t play any better,” Cavell said. “We have to eliminate the unforced errors. That’s going to happen when you’re an aggressive ball club, but we have to do that.”

“We’ve been battling injuries for the past month. My setter had a concussion and our outside hitter has a high ankle sprain, which she came back and hurt it again (Saturday) morning,” Verret said. “But the young kids are stepping up. We’ve got a pretty formidable lineup right now, and we’re competing well.”

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM HLB TOURNAMENT

In Pool A, Central Catholic won it followed by H.L. Bourgeois, Belle Chasse and St. Martin’s.

In Pool B, Dominican won followed by Barbe, South Terrebonne and Hahnville.

In Pool C, Chapelle won followed by E.D. White, Vandebilt and Destrehan.

In Pool D, John Curtis won followed by Assumption, Central Lafourche and Ellender.

In the playoff portion of the event, (groups of first, second, third and fourth place teams from respective pools) Chappelle beat Central Catholic, John Curtis beat Dominican and John Curtis beat Chapelle (first group) for the overall tourney title.

H.L. Bourgeois beat Assumption, E.D. White beat Barbe and E.D. White beat H.L. Bourgeois for the second group crown, and in the third group, Vandebilt beat South Terrebonne (25-16, 25-22), Belle Chasse beat Central Lafourche and Vandebilt beat Belle Chasse for the third group title.

Tournament leaders for South Terrebonne (5-6) were Julia LeBlanc (35 kills and 22 digs), Sarah LeBeouf (17 kills and 18 digs), Amber Authement (55 assists) and Megan Trosclair (14 kills).