This is the first sports story I have filed in a few years. It appears in The New Orleans Advocate and was published Wednesday Sept. 4, 2013.
Country Day tops Chapelle
BY BEN LEDBETTER
SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
It might have been the first match of the regular season for both Archbishop Chapelle and Metairie Park Country Day, but the drama both teams produced Wednesday was worthy of postseason form.
In the end, Country Day had just enough to hold off visiting Archbishop Chapelle, 24-26, 25-15, 27-25, 20-25 and 16-14.
“It was a great match,” Lady Cajuns coach Julie Ibieta said. “We are a pretty young team. One of our concerns was that we needed to get battle tested right at the beginning of the season and we absolutely did.”
Big plays were a prominent feature of Wednesday’s contest. That was especially true in the third game, which saw both teams tie the score 11 times.
Chapelle coach Jen Gandolph was grateful that her squad was able to keep the match close considering her team had to start the season away from home.
“We we’re aggressive,” Gandolph said. “Chappelle has not always been the dominant team when it comes to that. I thought when it came down to that pressure situation, we went after it. Sometimes we used to shy away.
“I think we played with a lot of heart, controlled emotions, and just stayed aggressive.”
Gandolph said her team did not pass very well although it improved as the match progressed and was average on defense. Her team did come through with some great digs, she said.
“Coming from behind is great, especially against a team like that,” Gandolph said. “On the flip side, when we had the lead, you can’t let them have an opening, because they’re going to take it, just like we did. That game was so back and forth, we probably could have tossed a coin and called who was going to win this match.”
Tai Bierria led the Lady Cajuns in kills with 28 and also had four aces. Teammate Jenna Ibieta had 47 assists.
Maddie Leger finished with 24 digs, and Caroline Perlis had four blocks.
“We ran the middle a lot,” Ibieta said. “We have to work on spreading our offense some, but our two middles were awesome.
“It’s the first match for both teams, and you never know what to expect.”