Lady Bulldogs move past Patrick Taylor into regionals

White Castle’s Alaina Williams delivers a kill over Patrick Taylor’s Sydney Monix in the Lady Bulldogs’ 3-1 Division V bi-district playoff victory on Thursday afternoon. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

WHITE CASTLE - White Castle overcame a second game setback to defeat Patrick Taylor 25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18 in the LHSAA Division V bi-district round on Thursday afternoon at WCHS' gym.

The No. 16 seed Lady Bulldogs (16-11) moved on to face top-seed and traditional power Episcopal of Acadiana in the regionals where they fell 25-14, 25-9, 25-6 on Monday. 17th seeded Patrick Taylor finished the season 11-7.

"We tend to play how our opponents play so I am glad we get a chance to play a team like that," White Castle coach Tammy Pierce said of Episcopal. "I think we matchup with anybody hitting-wise.

"We played up to our potential in the first set but then we got complacent and relaxed and the momentum did swing their way," Pierce said of Taylor. "We had a couple of passing errors that really had us going in the wrong direction but I think our experience and power prevailed and helped us overcome that."

Erica Jones led the Lady Bulldogs with 25 kills, six aces, three assists and two blocks. Skylar O'Bear added 15 kills, 12 assists, 11 digs and seven aces.

Shylar O'Bear had 15 digs, nine assists and two aces and Alaina Williams provided five kills, four aces and three digs.

"She is a four-year starter and her game has really elevated this year," Pierce said of Jones. "She was just determined for this to not be her last game and told me before the game that she would do anything she could do to get us to the next round."

Emmalyn Buquoi had seven kills for Patrick Taylor and Haley Hughes provided five kills. Alex Walsh had 34 digs.

"We had opportunities but we lost focus," Taylor coach Elmo Steinert said. "They have some good athletes and jump well. They played better than us and deserved to win."

White Castle used an 8-0 run on Ariel Bell's serve to take command of the first game. Williams' kill pushed the lead to 19-9 before Skyler O'Bear's consecutive aces wrapped up the set.

Williams' ace put the Lady Bulldogs ahead 5-1 in the second game before consecutive kills by Jones after Taylor knotted it up. Sydney Monix's ace tied the score again as the set went back and forth down the stretch before the Lady Tigers won on a slew of errors.

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third game on a pair of kills by Jones and aces from O'Bear. White Castle never trailed in the set but didn't start to pull away until Jones' block before her ace was game point.

Jones' kill put the Lady Bulldogs ahead for good 9-8 in the final game before a pair of aces from Shylar O'Bear. Jones added a pair of aces in the set and closed out the match with a pair of kills after Williams' block, Patricia Wilson's ace and Meaghan Overstreet's dink.