WATSON – Sometimes all you can do is tip your cap.
St. Amant had terrific command of its attack throughout Thursday night’s match at Live Oak and were able to hit any available open space with pinpoint accuracy, sweeping Live Oak 25-13, 25-16, and 26-24 in a District 4-II match at C.B. Wheat Gymnasium.
The Gators finished with 29 kills and six aces across the three matches.
Live Oak coach Chasity Sims recognized the quality St. Amant attacked with and how little could be done to stop it.
“The way that they hit it, they just hit it in the most absolutely perfect spot you could hit it about 90 percent of the time,” Sims said. “They were on. They had a really good night.
“That’s the first time we’ve seen them so that could be an every night thing or they could have had just a really good night,” Sims said. “Regardless, they hit the spots that they were supposed to. Our defense couldn’t get around that. They’re a good team.”
Senior setter Jamie Elenbaas acknowledged the difficult task the Lady Eagles’ defense encountered.
“It’s frustrating because we can see the ball coming but we can’t see it fast enough to react,” she said. “It’s really hard. Especially when we’re not as fast as a team.”
While Live Oak’s defense had its hands tied to St. Amant’s superb attacking, Sims felt like her team had the ball they could have played better.
“Our passes were not good,” Sims said. “They were everywhere. We can’t have that. When our passes aren’t good, we send free balls over. And every time you send a free ball over…well it’s free, that’s why it’s called that. They’re going to be attacking like that if you make it easy on them. I hate to say we made it easy on them, but we sent a lot of free balls.”
Said Elenbaas: “It’s so frustrating to see that we can’t perform to our potential. “That’s what stresses me out a little bit. I lose sleep a little bit; I go to bed kind of late after these games.”
Grace Warciski led Live Oak (9-14, 1-3 in district) with nine kills, two aces, and 23 digs. Elenbaas and Jaelyn Ray both recorded five kills, with Ray recording three aces.
In the last set the Gators had been holding the Eagles at arm’s reach for most of the play, nursing a five or six-point lead throughout when they subbed in their entire JV team.
That seemed to light a fire under the Eagles, who came storming back from down 21-16 to tie it at 24 all.
However, St. Amant re-inserted all of its starters and applied the brakes on LOHS’ rally and complete the sweep with back-to-back points.
“I think we played better because if we lose to their JV that’s going to reflect on us,” Elenbaas said. “I don’t think anybody wanted to hold that reputation. It lit a fire. We wanted to compete and put it more than we were giving.”