After two straight years of losing regionals to Bishop Verot, the third time was the charm for LaBelle.
Abbie O’Ferrell pounded 25 kills to lead Labelle to an upset win over Bishop Verot, 21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-22, in the regional semifinals on Tuesday night.
The match was the Cowgirls’ first win over Verot since 1997. It was also the first regional win over the Vikings in school history. And they did it in Verot’s gym, with its usual noisy student section.
“The girls just had heart,” LaBelle coach Lori Perkins said. “They played hard. They wanted to win. They executed what we worked on in practice.”
The match started with the makings of another Bishop Verot win. Lauren Sheeley led the way with five aggressive kills as the Vikings took the first set.
This continued into the second set, as Verot scored the first five points and led by as much as six late in the set. But an 8-1 run by LaBelle brought out the Cowgirls’ toughness. With the Vikings holding set point at 24-22, the Cowgirls put up four straight points. O’Ferrell won it by reaching over the net and sending the ball to the floor.
“We all just came together and I felt like we had it from there,” O’Ferrell said.
That brought down the volume on the Verot side of the gym. Meanwhile, LaBelle’s student section, though half has big, managed to take control of the noise.
The Vikings put together some more scoring runs the rest of the way, but they could not take the lead and hold it. O’Ferrell spiked the winning point at the end of the third set. In the fourth, LaBelle came back from a 10-3 deficit to cement the victory.
Rachel Reinbott pounded 15 kills of her own. Macy O’Ferrell assisted 37 times, and Logann White led the defense with 22 digs.
Sheeley led the Vikings with 13 kills. Setter Ashlyn Brown had a double-double with 11 kills and 18 assists.