On Tuesday, Sulphur ended that drought against the team that stopped them short last season. Sulphur swept defending Division I, District 2 champion Sam Houston in straight sets, 25-13, 26-24, 27-25, to claim at least a share of the district championship.
“It is a big accomplishment,” Sulphur head coach Bridget Coppels said. “We really took last year losing that district championship match and used it as motivation this year.
“Our first goal of the year was to win district. I think they are doing a great job and working really hard to make that happen for themselves. There was awesome defense on both sides and really awesome hustle plays as well. I was incredibly proud of my kids just trying to do anything possible to keep the ball off the ground.”
The Tors plays Comeaux (9-4, 3-2) today with a chance to win the district champion outright.
It was Sulphur’s (10-0, 6-0) first win over Sam Houston (6-3, 3-3) since 2014.
“They (Sam Houston) are always tough,” Coppels said. “They are a good matchup for us.
“Tonight was just a fun environment to play high school volleyball in Southwest La.”
Sam Houston struggled in the first set but found its footing in the second and third set, forcing several extra set points but couldn’t come up with a win.
“We have struggled with some of that this year,” Sam Houston head coach Rene Fontenot said. “Just a slower start than we needed to come across with a win.
“We are just plagued by youth errors.”
Due to damages to their home gym, Sam Houston has spent virtually the entire season on the road.
“We are like a bunch of vagabonds,” Fontenot said. “The balls stay in the car, and we just keep rotating where we are playing. But they are working hard, and they are positive. Given what we are going through, we will be ok. It is just not ok right now, but they are continuing to bet better. We will continue to work.”
Sam Houston led 2-0 in the first set after Maggie Cox blocked an attack by Sulphur’s Cara Murphy. But the Tors rallied to take a 7-6 lead on an ace by Bridget Trahan.
The Broncos led by as many as four three times in the second set, 12-8 on an ace by Lauren Garrett, 16-12 on a Sulphur error and 17-13 on a kill by Cox. But Murphy flipped the momentum with three consecutive aces.
Neither team led by more than three points in the third set. Emma Gentry and Kamryn LaFosse blocked Murphy to tie it up at 24-24, but the Tors took back the lead on a kill from outside hitter Bailey Chaisson.
Murphy led Sulphur with 14 kills and four aces, and Keelie Seaford had 16 digs, four aces and 31 assists. Chaisson and Whittington contributed seven kills apiece.
Gentry’s night included nine kills and 13 digs while Cox added six kills and 11 digs. Jacie Simien finished with 19 assists and seven digs.
Sam Houston rebounded Wednesday night with a 25-16, 25-17, 25-19 sweep of Comeaux.
Gentry had a strong all-around game with 10 kills, 3 aces, 11 digs and 2 blocks. Garrett made 23 digs, LaFosse contributed 10 kills and 7 digs and Cox had 8 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks and 13 digs.