Dominican opens with win over University High

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- University High's Marygrace Constantin smacks the ball over the net during the game against New Orleans' Dominican on Wednesday on U High's campus.
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- University High's Marygrace Constantin smacks the ball over the net during the game against New Orleans' Dominican on Wednesday on U High's campus.

Isabella LeBlanc and Ashley Zamjahn had 11 kills apiece Wednesday evening as Dominican High opened its volleyball season with a 3-1 win over University High.

University (1-1), which got nine kills from Marygrace Constantin, dropped the first two games before winning the third. It wasn’t enough as Dominican won the match with game scores of 25-16, 26-24, 21-25 and 25-17.

“It’s early. We played with heart,” University coach Bonita Johnson said. “We showed we could come back and win Game 3, which was big for us.”

Sophie Miller topped Dominican’s defense with 31 digs. Zamjahn added 23 digs and LeBlanc had five blocks.

Constantin topped the Cubs with five blocks. Lindsay Flory had 16 assists, six kills and two blocks. Kristina Lamy topped her squad with nine digs and four aces, and also had six kills.

The contest matched two schools that advanced to state quarterfinal play a year ago — University in Division IV and Dominican in Division I. It was Dominican that showed more poise as it withstood a University rally late in Game 2, and then closed strong in Game 4.

“That was from experience,” Dominican coach Ashlee Smith said. “We actually have more than we thought we did. We have a lot of upperclassmen, and we know when to put balls away.”

Flory said University might have felt the pressure of playing a highly regarded opponent, but the Cubs appeared to settle down as the match wore on.

“I think we played pretty good, but knowing they’re such a good team might have brought us down a little,” Flory said. “Early on, it might have intimidated us. I think we got that out of our minds and played pretty well, but not as good as we could have.”

University forced four ties, but trailed the rest of the time in Game 1.

Dominican finished off its 25-16 win in Game 1 with an 11-2 run after University had tied the score 14-14.

Dominican’s Laura Lorio fueled the run with three of her 10 kills.

Dominican held small leads throughout game two before a late University rally made Dominican sweat. The Cubs forced a tie at 17-17, but fell behind 24-21.

Carolyn Coulter had a kill, and Terri Drake had a pair of blocks as University pulled even at 24-24. Dominican setter Sara Bordelon then dinked a shot over the net for a kill, and Zamjahn added another kill moments later to close out the 26-24 win.

University fought back in Game 3 taking a 13-7 lead en route to a 25-21 win.

Dominican got extra motivation for game four when the teams changed sides.

“A (University) girl walked past and said, ‘We’re going five with them,’ ” said Smith,who used it to challenge her team. “I went in the huddle and said they think they’re going five with us. They’re not. You put them down right now.”

Game 4 was tied 9-9, but Dominican pulled ahead 21-12 after Bailey Mauterer’s kill. Dominican won the game, 25-17, and the match when Lamy hit into the net.