Front (left to right) ; Karina Patel, Emily Nguyen, Lyla Fletcher, Tai’Janae Green; Middle (left to right), Suzie Gamez, McKayla Lopez, Elle Hebert, Ny’Haylie Guidry, Niki Tran, Angela Brailey; Back (right to left) Coach Ashly Boudreaux, Jayla Hebert, Payton Brown, Nevaeh Willis, Kendra Davenport Emma Reynolds, Alexis Stelly, Abbie Mouton and Coach Lacey Meaux.
Abbeville Lady Wildcats begin season with no fans in stands
The Abbeville Lady Wildcats’ volleyball team opened the 2020 season in front of no fans or students cheering. Instead, the Abbeville gym had players, managers, two referees, Principal Brett Darby, coaches and the clock operator.
While the gym was not as noisy as it could have been, there was cheering going on.
For the Lady Wildcats, Thursday’s game was a season-opener against West St. Mary. Abbeville had only a handful of practices leading up to Thursday’s match.
This year’s Lady Cat team did not have much time to mesh with the departure of seven seniors. No scrimmages were leading up to the first match. Instead, the first game of the year was the first time these AHS girls played someone other than themselves.
The bad news is that the Lady Wildcats lost in three sets, 25-15, 25-19 and 28-26.
The good news is that each set they played, they improved.
In the first set, they lost by 10. In the second, it was only six points. And the third set Abbeville had a chance to win but ended up losing by two points.
It was positive showing for head volleyball coach Ashly Boudreaux.
“We only had three or four practices because of COVID-19,” said Boudreaux. “All you could do is work to get better. We came out nervous and the rotations were not right. We can fix those things. Today’s match was more like a scrimmage. It showed us what we need to work on.”
After dropping the first set, Abbeville rebounded in the second set and jumped out to a 6-1 lead. The lead went to 7-3 on Abbie Mouton’s serve.
But then Abbeville blinked and saw its big lead shrink to 8-6. West St. Mary tied it 9-9 and then the Lady Wildcats tied it again, 11-11 on Karina Patel’s serve.
Abbeville retook the lead 18-16 on a dink shot by Mouton. But after that, West St. Mary rallied and out scored Abbeville 9-1 to secure the win.
In the third set, Abbeville stayed close and tied it 20-20 and then got behind 23-20. Abbeville’s Makayla Lopez found a hole and Mouton smashed a serve that was not returned to make it a 23-23 game.
The Lady Wildcats took a 26-25 lead thanks to two West St. Mary errors with Alexis Stelly serving. Unfortunately, Abbeville could not finish off West St. Mary. They scored three straight points to hold off Abbeville (0-1).
Stelly led Abbeville in serving with five aces. Emma Reynolds and Abbie Mouton had each three aces. Payton Brown and Makayla Lopez both had one ace. Lopez led with three assists. Stelly, Lopez and Mouton had each a kill.