CHS Ladies fall to Westlake in first round of playoffs; Rayne advances with win
By Chris Quebedeaux
WESTLAKE – Crowley High’s bid for a state volleyball tournament appearance fell short in the first round of the playoffs Thursday when the Ladies fell in three sets to No. 16 seed Westlake.
Westlake cruised past Crowley in the opening game (25-12) and then fought off the Ladies in the final two sets (25-21, 25-17) to advance to the second round at top-ranked Notre Dame Monday at 5:30 p.m.
“We got off to a slow start and I think that the fact that it was a playoff game kind of threw them for a loop and they were a little nervous going in,” said CHS coach Christina Maloz Gary, whose squad beat Westlake in a tournament earlier in the season. “We just came out a little flat.”
Crowley regrouped in the second game to take an early advantage and led for the majority of the contest. But an errant serve by CHS sparked a Westlake rally that resulted in an 8-3 run by the Lady Rams to end the game.
“We were ahead for most of the second game and really should have won it,” said Gary. “We just kind of settled into the game and played better but we just couldn’t pull that one out.”
The Ladies kept pace in the third and final game until the end when Westlake went on a five-point run to end the match.
“The third game was a fight,” said Westlake coach Kelly Smith. “We didn’t play bad. It was just a fight because they (Crowley) weren’t going away. That says a lot about their girls.”
Crowley finished one of its better seasons in recent history with a 15-13 record. The Ladies, who started three freshmen the entire season, won their first nine games and went 12-3 in the first 15 contests before hitting a slide late in the season.
The Ladies dropped nine of their last 12 games, winning just two in a tough district that included Division III’s No. 1 ranked Notre Dame, No. 11 Teurlings and No. 12 Rayne.
“We have one of the toughest districts around with Notre Dame, Teurlings and Rayne,” said Gary. “I knew it would be tough going into district, but, luckily, we had a lot of success in the early part of the season to push us into the playoffs.
“This really was a great year. I think our early success kept us going throughout the rest of the season when we faced tougher teams. I couldn’t be more pleased with the season. The girls came out every day and worked hard. They were determined to do well this season and they did.”
Rayne’s Lady Wolves advanced to the second round of the Division III volleyball playoffs Thursday with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-21 victory on the road over Loranger.
Rayne, the No. 12 seed, will travel to Baton Rouge to take on St. Michaels Monday at 6 p.m.
“If we play our game and keep our level up, we should do fine,” said RHS coach Stephanie Garrett. “We just need to keep our heads in the game and play like I know we can.”
In other playoff action, Northside Christian will play host to Ascension Episcopal Monday at 5:30 p.m. and Iota will travel to New Iberia to take on Catholic High at 6 o’clock.