EDW takes thriller over Notre Dame

E.D. White Catholic's Claire Chiasson (23) hits the ball over the net against Notre Dame during Tuesday's match . (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)

E.D. White Catholic's main campus gym could have been called Pontchartrain Center west on Tuesday night in Thibodaux.

The Lady Cardinals and Notre Dame of Crowley, two perennial state powers in their respective Divisions of III and IV, played a nondistrict match worthy of state playoff comparison.

The two teams are staples at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner where the state holds the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of each volleyball division at the end of every season.

On Tuesday night, the Lady Cardinals posted a thrilling 25-22, 16-25, 24-26, 26-24, 15-13 come-back victory in front of their home fans in the sort of match usually reserved for deep in the postseason and along the south bank of Lake Pontchartrain.

"It was a playoff feel," E.D. White coach Mary Cavell said. "This was like a final. I could not have asked for a better match at home."

The Lady Cardinals (20-7) lost to Notre Dame, the defending Division IV champs, in the semifinals of the 2009 Division III playoffs, before the team dropped into Division IV.

"I think we kind of doubted ourselves a little bit, but we came out and decided we weren't going to let it happen on our home court. We decided we were going to take it," E.D. White junior Emily Weimer said. "This win means a lot. We lost to them a couple of years back, so the juniors and seniors took this one personally. It was evenly matched all the way through, and I am proud of my team."

The fifth and deciding game was tied eight times, the final time at 12, before Notre Dame was called for being in the net on a kill attempt.

After a Notre Dame timeout, Michelle Riviere recorded a kill for the Lady Cardinals, and Notre Dame got a kill from Lindsey Meyer to cut the E.D. White lead to 14-13.

Then, with Notre Dame serving, Riviere sent a strong kill to the back row and it was too much for the Notre Dame defender to handle as the ball skidded off her hands, which were stretched out over her head, and out of bounds for the match winner for the Lady Cardinals, who were close to dropping the match toward the end of Game 4, but kept fighting and took the win.

Weimer (17 blocks) led the Lady Cardinals with 24 kills, and Riviere (12 blocks) and Madison Rodrigue added seven each. Sydney Bordis had 15 digs and Abby Richard tallied 11, while Claire Chiasson recorded 27 assists and six aces for the Lady Cardinals.

"I keep telling them they have to will each other to win, and they have been doing that," Cavell said. "It's been a great team effort. They are fun to coach. Everybody gives credit to everybody else. It was a momentum game, and we were able to match them."

Notre Dame fell to 16-7 overall and got 11 kills each from Meyer and Megan Malmay, 24 assists from Sam Lyons and 17 assists from Alex Miller, 29 digs from Taylor Boulet and 22 digs from Malmay.

"E.D. White is a tough team, and they executed when it counted. I guess that was the difference," Notre Dame coach Tara Young said. "I don't think either team really figured out how to keep the momentum. These are the kind of matches we need to play, but we need to win. I think we have an outstanding team, but we are struggling with our confidence. We have had some close matches. We just need to figure out how to win those matches. It was a great match. I am glad it was tight and competitive. I am glad we came."

Cavell said playing top quality competition outside of district is key in improving toward the playoffs.

"It's an outstanding thing," Cavell said of the victory. "They are a perennial power in their division. I knew it would be a great match. We had a bye in our district so we wanted to get a quality team in here to keep our level of play up. I was proud of the girls. We went five games (and won) against (Division II) St. Scholastica (on Saturday) and beat the defending champion in Division IV (Notre Dame), so I feel like we are getting better. We may not be playing our best ball yet, but we are playing some really good ball, and I am really pleased."


At Houma, the Lady Terriers used the 25-8, 25-5, 25-3 victory to improve to 13-11 overall and 3-1 in District 5-III.

Erin Crane (seven kills, five digs), Kristen Kurtz (seven kills), Lindsey Lerille (five kills), Allie Beyer (27 assists, eight aces), Maggie Hamilton (five digs), Melanie Sanvi (two blocks, seven aces) and Jeanne Harson (two blocks) were leaders for the Lady Terriers.


At Gray, the Lady Wildcats improved to 4-6 overall with the 22-25, 23-25, 29-27, 25-17, 15-12 victory.

CCA fell to 4-3 on the season.