High school competition returned to Pointe Coupee Parish, with a reunion tossed in, as False River hosted Livonia on Tuesday in a nondistrict volleyball contest.
“They waited a long time for this, their parents and loved ones have waited a long time,” said Loriann Sellars, False River Academy coach.
The Gators won the varsity contest 25-16, 25-14, 25-22.
Livonia’s first-year coach is Jackie Knight, who spent more than 20 years coaching at False River, with Sellars on her staff. But on Tuesday, everyone was focused on playing, after a summer of wondering if high school sports would be held.
Sellars praised her players’ serving.
“Most of the time it was our serving,” that carried the Gators, she said. “We have a few little kinks to work out with our rotation. We have a few weaknesses on our coverage but a majority of that they did well for the first home game in the heat.”
“The first game, I can’t really say that was us,” Knight said of her Wildcats. “The third game was us, but they beat us fair and square.”
“Tonight, digging saved us in the third game,” she said. “In our first game, we were weak, we could not return a serve. It was better in the second game. We did get our hits.”
Livonia won the junior varsity matchup 25-16, 22-25, 16-14. False River won the freshman contest 25-7, 25-9.
“The junior varsity did awesome,” Knight said. “The varsity took a while to kick in but in the third set, we dug in the back, hit on the side. All we got to do is finesse ourselves to play each game consistently.”
False River returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 17, at Baton Rouge Magnet. Livonia will host False River on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Leading Livonia were Alana Oliver with 5 blocks and Kelcy Leonard with 11 assists. Other leaders were Bryanna Rodriguez, 9 digs and 2 aces; Tia Ransom, 9 assists, 4 digs and 1 kill; and Jordyn St. Cyr, 3 kills and 1 ace.
Livonia lost senior Corlette Richard to a leg injury and Knight said, “it may be “a few weeks before she returns.
Knight not only sent in a replacement for Richard, but also went to her bench.
“We used some subs. We used people off the bench. This year, no one’s spot is guaranteed. We’ve got people.”
False River Academy also went to its bench, bringing in a sophomore and two freshmen in the third set.
“We wanted to get them some extra play time. I was willing to lose a few points at the end. It’s not always about a win,” she said.
“I coached with Miss Jackie for a long time,” Sellars said. “She’s a good friend. We both would have done the same thing.”