With a firm win in three straight sets, the Lady Highlanders keep their momentum going from their win over Blue Ridge on Sept. 10.
“They kept playing, they didn’t think about anything except playing, all while focusing on their game and trying new things to help us down the road,” said Head Coach Katy Postell.
She added that when you have a healthy lead like they did against Nantahala, sometimes the players experiment with different strategies.
“The girls do tend to want to try to speed up the offense, run quick sets, slides, shoots, etc., things they want to do in big games but haven’t yet developed the confidence to do so,” said Postell.
Sophomore Jordan Carrier said each player has certain goals to achieve throughout practices and then try and incorporate those goals into a game, which is what the team did tonight.
“We had momentum from the win over Blue Ridge last night,” said Carrier. “I hope it turns into a rolling ball of a winning streak. We got to do some things we’ve only done in practice and doing it in a game helps build confidence rather than just doing it in practice.”
Senior Hannah Holt said consecutive wins are a welcome reprieve after a lengthy series of losses.
“It feels good to win tonight, especially after the rut we’ve been having,” said Holt. “It feels good to get back on our feet and keep going.”
When there is no JV game scheduled, Alyson Dayton, Tessa Wisniewski, and Ann Marie Moore dress out and play in the varsity game.
“It’s definitely different because the games are much faster,” said Dayton.
Postell said games like tonight are good for confidence boosters and morale.
“Games like tonight are great, we get to see some young girls mixed in with older girls and it gives them a chance to get comfortable playing varsity and being in a conference game,” said Postell.
Highlands’ next game is at home with JV beginning at 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 against Cherokee and varsity immediately following.
Postell said they are preparing for a tough game.
“Cherokee is always tough, they are scrappy and have some good hitters normally,” she said. “They are physically bigger than us and we have to get their size advantage under control.”
Holt said if they keep the right mentality they can score a win.
“I think our biggest threat is ourselves thinking we have an easy win,” said Holt. “But we have to focus on keeping our energy and our heads up no matter what.”
Freshman Reese Schmitt said she was worried they would fall back into a funk and not be able to get back out while playing Nantahala but they pulled off a win tonight and she is looking forward to playing against Cherokee.
“I think it will be a really good match, but I think we’ll win.”
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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