University High was ready to all but wrap up the Division IV, District 3 volleyball championship Monday night against Episcopal.
The Cubs accomplished that with a gut-check performance against the visiting Knights, rallying in the fourth set to take a 3-1 win by scores of 21-25, 25-9, 25-16 and 29-27.
U-High (19-5, 4-0), fourth in the Division IV power rankings, now owns wins over district rivals Episcopal (15-11, 3-1) and Port Allen. The Knights need only to win at Northeast on Wednesday to win the district title outright.
“Before the game, coach (Bonita Johnson) stressed that if we lost, (the best) we’d be was co-district champions,” said libero Jill Jones, who had 19 digs, including a huge game-saver in the fourth set. “As soon as we saw the score getting tight in the fourth set we knew we had to go win it.”
Bailey Grimes led the Cubs with 15 kills and added six digs and five aces. Elise Doomes and Colleen Temple each had 11 kills and three blocks.
Episcopal jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first game and rode that momentum to a 25-21 win. The Knights dropped the next two games, but had a chance to even the match.
Episcopal held a 24-20 lead in the fourth game but couldn’t close out the set. The Knights ran off five points to take a 25-24 lead, and they eventually scored the last three points after trailing 27-26.
“Episcopal is always a big game for us. Its always a great game, and they did a really good job,” said Johnson, who worked to keep her team on an even keel. “I kept telling (our girls) to ‘Settle down and play your game.’ ”
Episcopal got nine kills, six digs and two blocks from Gracie Veillon, seven kills from Julia Pearce, and 10 digs by Corinne Talbot.
“U-High is always a top team, and I’m proud of my girls. (U-High) did an excellent job, and is just a…