Summer Volleyball Reese Patten

Walker High's Reese Patten serves during a summer volleyball game at Central High School on Monday, June 10.

Summer Volleyball Amelia Van Oss

Denham Springs High's Amelia Van Oss hits the ball over the net during a summer volleyball game at Central High School on Monday, June 10.

CENTRAL - Walker’s volleyball team displayed a marked improvement in their competitive edge in Monday’s summer volleyball meet, something sorely missing from their 2018 campaign.

The Lady Cats dropped their first set against parish foe Denham Springs 25-13 before rallying back to take a tight 25-22 affair. They trailed 12-11 in the third set when the match reached its time limit.

Walker hardly had an answer for Denham Springs in the first set after an eight-point run gave the Lady Jackets a 10-4 lead. But in the second set the Lady Cats flipped the script and went on an eight-point run of their own to take a 10-3 lead.

The Lady Jackets took seven of the next eight points to tie the match, but the Lady Cats fought hard to regain and maintain their lead.

For second-year coach Kaylee Guidry, the results aren’t nearly as important as the way her team fought.

“It’s been a culture change, and it’s been a process,” Guidry said. “It’s been just OK to win and OK to lose, now we’re wanting to win and willing to learn from losing.

“It’s been a process and the girls are starting to grasp it,” Guidry said. “That’s what you saw. It was clicking, they were closer on the court, they were moving as a team. Even the kids on the bench were talking. They’re really starting to buy in.”

Summer Volleyball Mackenzie Covington

Live Oak's Mackenzie Covington bumps the ball during a summer volleyball game at Central High School on Monday, June 10.

In the final meeting both teams traded five-point runs before time ran out with Denham Springs holding a narrow 12-11 edge to give them the match.

“They underestimated Walker,” Denham Springs coach Pam Dubuy said of her team. “Walker has better coaches now and it makes a difference. It’s summertime, they maybe don’t care as much because they know it’s not as serious.

“We’ll see a difference when we play in the fall,” Dubuy said. “I like their aggressiveness; they are scrappy, and they don’t give up on a play. They were trying hard, not letting the ball drop. I like the hustle.”

Live Oak dropped all three sets against Central, 25-20, 25-15, and a time-shortened 21-11.

The Wildcats rattled off eight points in a row in the first set to break a 9-9 deadlock and never looked back.

Central asserted its dominance by going on an 8-2 and 10-2 run in the next two sets.

“We could have played a lot better than what we did,” Live Oak coach Chasity Sims said. “I feel like every time we play Central; we don’t play up to our potential. I hate that. We did have some good digs and some good swings on the ball.

“One good thing that I am seeing is that my younger ones are getting way more consistent with passing and hitting, hitting our spots on serves,” Sims said. “That’s probably the positive that came out.”