The Lady Highlanders are riding a winning streak by taking down Cherokee on Sept. 13. First junior varsity won their sets 2-0 and then varsity followed suit by winning 3-0.
Following JV’s clean victory, varsity came out slightly sluggish at first, but started to pick things up as play went on.
“It was chaotic, yet we were able to put out some great hits,” said Junior Jeslyn Head. “One of the new things is we had all of the seniors on the court at the same time.”
When that’s the case things seem to go well, but on the downside, all the seniors are rotated off of the court at some point, which caused Head some concern looking down the road.
“It stinks because that’s how it’s going to be next year,” said Head. “It will be exactly like tonight without Abby (Overa), Tristan (Castro) and Hannah (Holt) on the court.”
Big-hitter Kedra McCall was on the court doing what she does best, putting points on the board.
“We did really good,” she said. “We played our game and didn’t let their lack of intensity get to us.”
Highlands faces Robbinsville at home at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 and McCall said it should be interesting because both Highlands and Robbinsville are on a hot streak.
“Last time we played them we didn’t have a great game,” said McCall. “But we have a lot of momentum now and we’re going to come out swinging and give them a run for their money.”
Junior Bailey Schmitt said games like tonight’s against Cherokee allows them to try new things and run different plays.
“We get more comfortable doing it in a game to use when we’re in a tougher game,” said Schmitt.
Head said hopefully they will be able to use some of those plays next week at home against Robbinsville at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17.
“They’re on a roll right now and we’re definitely going to have to step it up from this week,” said Head. “Everything will be a lot more intense and harder.”
Postell said Robbinsville has some big hitters they need to watch out for.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” she said. “We’re going to need to dig a lot. The last time we played them our defense was pretty bad, but we’re playing much better as a whole now.”
Postell added that varsity’s new setter Ava Schmitt is doing sensational and that it felt like Jordan Carrier had more aces than non-aces tonight.
Kedra agreed with Ava’s performance.
“She’s (Ava) killing it,” said McCall. “I’m really impressed with her out there.
“My JV only missed two serves the entire game,” said Postell. “Cherokee just couldn’t return them.”
She added that JV’s libero Alyson Dayton played outstanding.
“Alyson Dayton was all over the floor and her passes were perfect,” said Postell. “She made the game easier for everybody else.”
Ninth-grader Zoe Berkstresser said she was proud of their performance tonight.
“They’re (Cherokee) pretty good,” said Berkstresser. “In the beginning we slowed down but then we started to pick back up.”
10th-grader Tessa Wisniewski said once Highlands had established a healthy lead everyone got time on the court.
“We were a little rusty at the beginning because we hadn’t played a game in a while, but we pushed through,” said Wisniewski. “Plus everybody got some play time, which is always good.”
Ninth-grader Julia Schmitt said she sees more victories down the road, but agreed it took a couple points to find their groove tonight.
“We’ve played harder games before, but this was the first game we’ve played this week,” said Julia. “It was when they tipped over the net, we were really having trouble covering the area.”
Next week against Robbinsville Berkstresser said there are a couple threats to watch for.
“They’re going to have really good serves and blocks,” she said. “It’s going to be a challenging game.”
Wisniewski agreed that Robbinsville will be a challenge, but she is optimistic.
“I expect to win,” she said. “The last time we played we were really close but we couldn’t return their serves. We’re much better now. I think we’re going to win.”
Varsity immediately follows JV at home at 5 p.m. in Highlands on Sept. 17.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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