Lady Highlanders defeat rival Blue Ridge

After a series of consecutive losses, the Highlands girls varsity volleyball team defeated Blue Ridge School 3 sets to 0 on Sept. 10. It came down to 22-24 in the third game and Highlands was on game point, but due to a questionable call Highlands had to play one more point to finish the game 23-25.

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Jordan Carrier makes a diving bump against Blue Ridge on Sept. 10.

“They did very well,” said Head Coach Katy Postell. “We had a new setter (Ava Schmitt) in the back row and she really did well. Plus Ked’s (Kedra McCall) is back and she’s all over the court, she’s so athletic.”

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Tristan Castro blocks a tip by Blue Ridge.

Senior Tristan Castro said the team started off slowly in the first set, but changed things up and made a comeback.

“It feels great, especially because it’s such a big game, they’re our biggest rivals,” said Castro. “They’re about the same skill level as us so it comes down to heart.”

Junior Amy Council said they had some issues with their communication but brought it together for the win.

“I think a team will always have struggles throughout the season, but you get better at it,” said Council. “Your team gets this fluidity and chemistry and I think we really brought that tonight.”

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The team celebrates winning the third set. Kedra McCall, wearing number 2, is jumping in the air in excitement.

The Lady Highlanders play Nantahala at 5 p.m. in Highlands on Sept. 11. Postell said Nantahala’s volleyball program has struggled in the past but they hired a new coach, Jennifer Neal, who is making progress developing her team.

“Their coach is good, she’s really turning their program around,” said Postell.

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Bailey Schmitt tips the ball over Blue Ridge’s block.

Another threat Postell said they would look out for is Nantahala’s serve.

“Oh their serve, they’re one of the best service teams around,” said Postell.

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Ava Schmitt executes a jump serve to Blue Ridge.

With Nantahala’s turbulent volleyball past, Castro said it’s difficult to gauge their threat level.

“I’m not really sure, Nantahala always brings new people so we never know,” she said.

Council said Nantahala’s past does not matter in the next game.

“Every game is a new game and you have a 50/50 chance,” said Council. “I don’t care what you think their skill level is, it all matters how you come out that day.”

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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