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Ruston ready for Bearcat Brawl at Sports Complex this weekend

Friday, September 22, 2023
Ruston ready for Bearcat Brawl at Sports Complex this weekend

The Ruston High volleyball team continues its successful season this we e k e n d at the Ruston Sports Complex for the Bearcat Brawl. Photo by Darrell James

The Ruston volleyball team will have a chance to make its mark and set the tone for the second half of its season at the Bearcat Brawl, a two-day volleyball event with some of the best teams in the state.

The Bearcats (12-3), ranked No. 6 in the Division I Power Ratings, start the event off tonight against No. 11 Dutchtown (Div I) at 5:15 p.m. and Ponchatoula at 7:45 p.m.

On Saturday, Ruston will face No. 4 Isidore Newman (Div IV) at 9:45 a.m., Sulphur (Div I) at 11 a.m. and No. 6 Notre Dame (Div IV) at 1:30 p.m.

“We know that this is our time to try and handle business,” Ruston head coach Amanda Cauley said. “This could set the tone for the second half of the season. Last year, they played really well but they just couldn’t finish and they went 0-5. And that’s not a good feeling for a team that’s used to winning, being highly competitive. And they don’t want to feel that way again.”

Ruston has won four- straight matches and six of its last seven as it enters a packed weekend of competition, but Cauley said coming in focused and ready to face Dutchtown is crucial to setting the tone for the four other matches this weekend.

Dutchtown finished one win away from making the state tournament last year but has started this season 9-4 overall.

“I told them right out of the gate we’re playing Dutchtown, which is maybe the highest ranked team we’ll face in our division and I don’t know if Ruston’s ever beat Dutchtown and they have a competitive squad this year,” Cauley said. “Hopefully we come out ready to go. And I feel like, when our systems are firing, we’re going to play anybody well. And our goal is to play them well.”

Ruston hopes its play can send a message to successful teams down south as to what the Bearcats are working with this season.

“I do think it’s a statement opportunity for how other teams down south view us, because we don’t see those teams all the time and they’re not in our district,” Cauley said. “For people to leave here and be like, ‘Dang, Ruston’s good this year,’ and go back down south, that’s good for us.”

All matches are best two of three, and admission is $10 for spectators at the Ruston Sports Complex.