Destrehan went on the road to Lafayette in the first round of the Division I volleyball playoffs and returned as victors, the Wildcats advancing after defeating Acadiana in five games, 21-25, 25-18, 28-30, 25-16 and 15-9 Thursday night.
Allie Carmichael had 44 assists to help lead Destrehan. Noelle Kelley had 24 digs. Danae Lathers and Isabelle Chaisson each had six blocks. Four DHS hitters had double figures in kills, including Gia Zeringue (14), Ryley Boyne (13), Nijai Smith (10) and Danae Lathers (10).
Destrehan will travel to St. Joseph’s Academy in round two, with the game set for 10 a.m. Saturday morning (Nov. 3). St. Joseph’s is the No. 4 seed in Division I and advanced by defeating No. 29 New Iberia in round one, 25-16, 25-14 and 25-19.
The Wildcats (26-16) entered the match as the No. 20 seed in Division I and Acadiana the 13, but Destrehan coach Edward Borgstede always believed his team had a stronger chance to win than those seedings indicated.
“I truly felt it was a 50-50 type of game … the seeding meant nothing to me,” Borgstede said. “It was a great atmosphere. Acadiana packed a ton of people in, and we traveled real well with our fans too. I thought the momentum really started to shift later in the match because of our conditioning … we were actually playing and hitting harder 10 points into the fifth set than we were 10 points into the beginning of the match.”
It was Destrehan’s first playoff win under Borgstede, who joined the program in 2016, and he called it an “ultimate team effort.”
“Whenever someone had something go wrong, somebody else picked them up,” Borgstede said. “Every single player contributed in some way.”
The third set threatened to be a turning point against Destrehan, which had to come back after battling hard only to fall 30-28 and go behind two games to one.
But the Wildcats largely controlled the fourth game throughout, and rode that momentum through the fifth and deciding set.
Now a traditional power looms in the form of St. Joseph’s. Destrehan will attempt to score the upset on a team boasting great tradition. If the Wildcats can do so, they’ll earn a spot at the Pontchartrain Center for the state volleyball tournament, which will be held in Kenner Nov. 8-10.
“(St. Joseph’s) is a big elephant, for sure,” Borgstede said. “But our message to the kids is to come out, play relaxed and don’t let the moment get too big. Don’t worry about their state championship banners and trophies. Go out and have fun.
“Nobody expected you to win last night, and nobody expects you to win here. You can go show them, again.”