KENNER — Central Catholic’s volleyball team is headed back to the Division V semifinals after beating Archbishop Hannan 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-20) on Thursday at the Pontchartrain Center.
CCHS coach Kindra Halverson was confident her team could win, but didn’t expect a sweep.
“Not necessarily a sweep, because we’ve seen them on film and they look strong and we were worried about the middle girl,” Halverson said. “Honestly, we came out here comfortable and confident. I didn’t see nerves from any of the girls, even the freshmen.”
The quarterfinal was a rematch from 2010 and today’s semifinal against Episcopal School of Acadiana is a chance for the Lady Eagles to avenge their loss in the semifinals last season.
CCHS took the first game 25-16 with a powerful kill by Meo Knight ending the game.
The second game was closer but the Lady Eagles pulled out to an 11-7 lead after a string of errors by Hannan.
Hannan rallied to make it 18-18 and 20-20 before Knight hammered another kill to swing momentum in CCHS’ favor.
The teams would go over the 25-point mark and were tied at 24-24 and 25-25 before a CCHS kill hit a Hannan player and a block by Brienna Hill ended it, 27-25.
The Lady Eagles seemed to lose their intensity early in the third game and trailed 15-10 at one point.
Hill was able to break the serve and the Lady Eagles mounted a comeback behind a serving streak from Amanda Barron that turned the tables and had CCHS leading 21-16 and Hannan’s season slipping away.
“We knew the whole time that we could do it so we weren’t worried about it,” Barron said. “I think the fact that we beat them last year kept us a little more confident than we were last year.”
Hannan coach Jennifer Pujol lit into her team in a timeout but it didn’t seem to help. Geralyn Garrett hit a kill to make it 23-18 CCHS and Abbie Bergeron ended it with a well-placed dig over the net that fell to the court against a flat-footed Hannan defense.
“It was like a roller coaster. We never really established a consistent level of play,” Pujol said. “We were just up and down, up and down. I think that’s pretty much the difference maker. We made a lot of mistakes and we couldn’t capitalize when we had the opportunity.”
The third game put a scare into the Lady Eagles but they showed maturity and poise in battling back and completing the sweep.
“I was (worried) a little bit when we got down, but some people stepped up and were real leaders on the court,” Halverson said. “I had some juniors step up and they just made everyone relax.”
Barron’s team-high six aces were the difference in the comeback. She also had two blocks and a kill.
“Great job with aces,” Halverson said. “She gets back behind the line and just lets them rip. She’s a great server.”
Bergeron led the team with 13 digs; Hill had seven kills and three blocks; Caroline Byrne had 29 assists and an ace; Celine Flores had four kills and an ace; Garrett had five kills and three blocks; Maria Templet had four aces; Knight had 14 kills and a block; and Olivia Crawford had an ace.
CCHS played ESA at 10 a.m. today in the Class 1A semifinals.