The 16th-seeded Lady Tigers (17-21) shook off some early nerves to win 26-24, 25-14, 18-25 and 25-16 over the 17th-seeded Edna Karr (11-11) from New Orleans.
Morgan City came back from 8-4 in the first match after adjusting to the Lady Cougars strong front-line play.
Lawren Mercadel activity on the front row had the Lady Cougars up 18-14 before Morgan City took a timeout. The Lady Tigers stormed back behind the serve of Brittney Durham. MCHS took their first lead at 23-22 after a big block by Brooke Singleton and Kailyn Turner. Morgan City pulled ahead on the strength of Singleton’s jump serve and won the set on a Reina Fernandez spike.
Singleton had eight aces, five assists, four kills and five digs; Fernandez had four kills, two aces, two blocks and two digs; and Turner had six kills and three blocks.
“We served well when we needed to,” MCHS coach Christy Theriot said. “We also had to move the ball around because they had a good front line and we had to adjust to their blocking skills.”
In the second set, the Lady Tigers jumped out to an early lead. MC went up 14-5 before Karr called a timeout. The Lady Cougars made a run behind Paris Bailey’s serve to close to 17-12. But, the Lady Tigers pulled away behind Fernandez’s serve again and cruised to a 25-14 win.
“We had a lot of mental mistakes tonight. We just couldn’t put a whole game together,” Karr coach Bernette Colin said. “We just had too much inconsistent play.”
The Lady Cougars’ best effort came in the third set. The match was nip and tuck until Karr got strong serves from Gabby Henry and Jadah Henry to take a 21-17 lead. The Lady Cougars regained the ball on a side out before pulling out the 25-18 win.
“We didn’t even play that well in the third set,” Colin said. “I think they may have lost their focus for a minute.”
The Lady Tigers’ focus was back in the fourth set, roaring out to a 9-0 lead before Karr could get on the board. Durham got hot with her serve again and the Lady Tigers went up 23-12 on a spike by Fernandez. MCHS would not be denied, winning 25-16.
Katelyn Adams had 12 assists, five digs, one kill, a block and three aces; Durham had eight digs and two aces; Savannah Loupe had three digs and an ace; Allie Dragna had two aces and two digs; Genesis Esteban had a kill and a dig; and Jaeivieanna Jones had two kills and a block.
Morgan City will travel to Lafayette to face top-seeded St. Thomas More in the regional round at 5:30 p.m. Monday. St. Thomas More (21-5) had a bye in the bi-district round.
Morgan City lost in the regional round last season against top-ranked Assumption.