“OG” players ratchet up intensity for Highlands volleyball teams

After Highlands varsity volleyball team took a hefty loss in Rosman 3-0 on Sept. 20, Head Coach Katy Postell thought it was time to bring in some old-school talent to practice in order to increase the level of intensity. On Sept. 21, the OGs took the court at Highlands School against rotating varsity and junior varsity squads.

“It’s more intense for my girls to scrimmage them instead of just constantly doing that with the JV team,” said Postell. “It increases intensity when they play heated matches against their family. They want to win more than anything so they play harder.”

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Jordan Carrier (on right) can’t handle the heat OG Tori Fielding brings to the net.

The OGs (Original Gangstas) are made up of former Highlands volleyball players and family members of current varsity and junior varsity team players. Kayla Bryson was Postell’s assistant coach for three years and joined the OGs for their practice with the high school teams.

“It’s fun to watch them from the sidelines,” said Bryson. “But it’s a lot more fun playing in this setting than watching.”

The theme was to have fun, but Postell said playing against other players can be very beneficial.

“The older players have more experience, they play a different style of volleyball,” said Postell. “My girls have to get used to the unknown when playing them, it’s not always pass set hit which we get used to playing. The older girls are smart and take advantage of our weaknesses and my girls have to learn to adjust to what they are doing.”

 

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Erika Olvera passes the ball against Highlands varsity volleyball team on Sept. 21.

Erika Olvera faced off against her daughters and said she will always be a player and things can get competitive.

“Sometimes I take it seriously and it can get competitive, but being able to share this with both Abby and Morgan is so much fun,” said Erika. “Plus you get to see other people you haven’t seen or played with in so long that are part of the Highlands sports family.”

Former Highlands volleyball player, Tori Fielding, was executing digs all over the court going up against hard-hitting daughter Ava Schmitt.

 

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“It’s fun to play against my daughter and its great being back on our old stomping grounds,” said Fielding.

Schmitt said Friday’s practice versus the OGs was a good balance of relaxed play and competition.
“It was pretty fun, and it was much different competition, which was good,” said Schmitt.

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Both varsity and JV learned a lot from the more experienced players who joined practice on Friday.

 

Postell said she has been holding these types of practices since she began coaching in 2013. It was the first time this season she could get the OGs together but hopes to continue the tradition.

“I appreciate the support from the community,” she said. “I would like to build this up and have two teams of old girls playing two varsity teams. I think it’s a great tool for our team to utilize the experience we have in front of us and can’t wait to see where we go from this.”

Highlands next play in Hayesville at 5 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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