DENHAM SPRINGS -- Denham Springs fought hard, but Ponchatoula picked up a 25-19, 25-20, 25-19 victory on Tuesday night.
After mounting a very late comeback in the opening set, Denham started the next two sets by holding a narrow lead halfway through but couldn’t hold the Green Wave at bay.
Ponchatoula took hold of the second two sets with a pair of 9-1 and 8-1 runs and never looked back.
The Yellow Jackets (3-4) didn’t get the win, but Denham Springs coach Pam Dubuy saw improvement after her team dropped a match to Walker in four sets Monday night.
“After seeing what they did last night, there was definitely improvement,” Dubuy said. “There are some things we’re going to take into practice tomorrow to work on. We had a lot of mis-serves last night and that kind of rolled into tonight. Whenever we got a high, they can’t stay up there. They tend to get knocked down and then they let the other team take them down.”
One bright spot for the Yellow Jackets was their defense, led by libero Savannah Bishop. Before the Green Wave (4-1) separated in the closing stages of the set, both teams engaged in a tense back and forth where Bishop kept Denham alive with three straight digs.
“I feel like I actually played really well tonight, I really do,” Bishop said. “I felt like I did parts that I should have.”
“She had a great defensive game today, for sure,” Dubuy said. “Our defense played real well today. I think we need to work on being more aggressive at the net. Our girls start off a little aggressive but then they get timid when they get blocked. We need them to play aggressive. I feel like they were kind of up and down there.”
Ponchatoula opened the match with a 25-19 victory over Denham Springs thanks in no small part to a 16-3 run. The Green Wave had trouble closing out the set but had built so much cushion that the Yellow Jackets’ eventual rally at the end fell short.
“In the first set, we didn’t have the energy,” Bishop said. “If you don’t have energy, then you’re not going to get excited and then you’re going to break down.”
Denham started the second set strong, up 9-4 early, but eventually Ponchatoula worked its way back into the set. The Yellow Jackets held a slight advantage until the Green Wave went on a 7-0 run to take the lead late and end the set with a 25-20 victory.
In the third and final set, the Yellow Jackets held a 11-10 lead before a 10-2 run gave the Green Wave a commanding lead that they would hold on to, completing the sweep with a 25-19 victory.
Dubuy was nothing but complimentary of the fight Ponchatoula played with.
“They’re scrappy,” Dubuy said. “They never gave up. Every play, they were going for every ball. It was almost like a tennis match how they were going for every point. I think we fought too, but they just had a better edge there.”