After the first two postseason games, No. 2 E.D. White volleyball coach Sarah Johnson has had to make a decision.
Did the Cardinals work hard enough or do they need to do some extra running?
E.D. White may have won in straight sets over No. 15 Lusher 25-9, 25-12, 25-12 on Thursday night, but that decision is probably a little more challenging than originally thought.
So far, the Cardinals have controlled just about every second of both matches. Neither Lusher nor Sci Academy finished a single set closer than a 13-point deficit to the Cardinals with the tightest set being a 25-12 finish in both the second and third sets against Lusher.
But while E.D. White (34-8 overall) is winning comfortably, Johnson doesn’t want her players getting too relaxed and making mistakes. This team, she believes, has what it takes to get back to the Division III state finals for the second consecutive year. Getting careless is the only thing that can stop them.
"That’s what got us a couple of times, Johnson said. "We play the first set and we win and then we relax in the second set. I’ve been treating them with running. If you don’t get to this point then you’ll run. It’s been keeping them focused. Really in the second set I have say we cannot let down like we have in the past. We have to continue to beat teams no matter what."
All three sets followed the same pattern for the most part. Lusher would keep it close for the first few points and then a big rally would put E.D. White way ahead. The Cardinals would then ride that lead to a cushy win.
EDW took the first set 25-9, one of its best of the postseason to date in terms of overall score.
Lila Bordis said the Cardinals maybe lost focus a little bit in the second or third sets, letting a few mistakes keep them from finishing the Tigers sooner.
It didn’t make much difference, though, with two more easy wins to take the match.
Bordis was the top player for the Cardinals with 14 kills, 11 digs and five aces. Khloe Trosclair also produced nine kills, while Caroline Gros had 36 assists and Emmi Lasseigne had eight digs.
"We’ve been preparing well," Bordis said. "We just have to keep fighting because we know next week is going to be tough and it’s going to push us. We have to be the best we’ve been all season."
Now E.D. White is headed back to the state volleyball tournament at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner for the third year in a row, where it’ll play No. 7 Archbishop Hannan in the Division III state quarterfinals next week. Hannan has also won in the minimum amount of sets through the first two matches.
Johnson said the key has to be remaining focused going forward.
As for the extra running, Johnson estimated they did enough to avoid any work on Thursday night.
Practice on Friday, however, might be a different story.
"We still have a lot of things to work on," Johnson said, "But I think we’re starting to peak at the right time."