SULPHUR — No. 20 Sam Houston got a big road win in the first round of the Division I playoffs Wednesday evening with a four-set win over rival No. 13 Sulphur.
Sam Houston (27-15) won 25-20, 25-22, 13-25, 25-16.
It was Sam Houston’s third win over Sulphur in nine days.
Several underclassmen helped lead Sam Houston into the regional round where it will face No. 4 Dutchtown (33-7) Saturday at 1 p.m. Dutchtown beat No. 29 Denham Springs 25-13, 25-16, 25-13 Thursday.
Sophomore Emma Gentry provided some key points early with seven kills in the first two sets. Gentry finished with 8 kills and six blocks, including three back-to-back in the first set for an 11-10 lead.
Sophomore Kamryn Lafosse had eight kills and freshman Alexis Dibley had seven blocks.
Senior Jordan Cochran led Sam Houston with 15 kills and 18 digs.
Sam Houston hit a rough patch in the third set as Sulphur gained momentum and avoided the sweep behind four kills and a block from junior Erika Whittington, who finished with 11 kills and four blocks.
The Broncos’ struggles in the third set—5 unforced errors—carried over to the fourth set. Sam Houston led by as many as four but errors allowed Sulphur to pull within one and Whittington tied it at 16-16 on a kill. But Sam Houston closed out the match on a 9-0 run behind three aces from libero Lauren Garrett, who finished with 14 digs and six aces.
Sulphur (19-15) was at home in the first round of the playoffs for just the second time since 2003.
The Tors seemed to struggle early with a pair of injured starters on the sideline in Dahli Dennis and Bridget Trahan. Sam Houston jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set with the help of two Sulphur errors. The Tors had 11 unforced errors in the first set.
Cara Murphy finished with six kills and 10 digs for Sulphur.
Westlake . 3
Vinton . 0
WESTLAKE — No. 3 Westlake rolled to a second round of the Division III playoffs with a 25-7, 25-6, 25-9 over district rival Vinton.
Keonda Johnson and Riley Rhodes had big games for the Rams. Johnson had 11 kills, four aces, four digs and a block while Rhodes contributed 23 assists, two aces and seven digs.
Westlake will host Brusly today at 5:30 p.m. with a spot in the LHSAA state tournament next week in Kenner.