The Lady Highlanders and Bobcats boarded the buses to Nantahala School to duke it out in Monday’s neutral non-conference tournament. Highlands was on point with their mechanics and Blue Ridge had just too many forced errors to make a difference losing to Highlands 3-0.
“We had too many unforced errors,” said Blue Ridge Assistant Coach Carlton Fowler. “We know Highlands is a good team and they’re aggressive, you can’t give them points. They’re going to earn them on their own.”
Highlands Senior Abby Olvera said playing Blue Ridge is not something they take lightly.
“The intensity when we play them is great,” said Olvera. “We were having fun and connecting really well with our setters. But their serving was really good, and their tips. They kept putting it in places that were hard for us to communicate.”
Highlands will play the winner of Nantahala versus Hiwassee Dam who are playing tonight. Highlands Head Coach Katy Postell said it would be nice to have another at a team who beat them twice earlier this year.
“I know the girls want another shot at Hiwassee Dam,” said Postell. “But first we had to play Blue Ridge and they played great. They hit the ball, they passed, and they didn’t get mad at each other. They played us tough. I was legitimately scared.”
Blue Ridge was missing one of their big hitters, Charlotte Sherrill, who was out due to illness. Chloe Fowler said it was a tough loss but Blue Ridge gave it their best.
“I am extremely proud of my team and how they came together,” said Fowler. “We stayed positive, banded together, and never gave up.”
Postell said the low roof clearance at the gym at Nantahala School may have helped Highlands.
“We run a quick set-up offense and pass low, so the roof was a benefit.”
Freshman Reese Schmitt said they were talking and hitting well through all three sets.
“We were hitting it great, I mean we were killing it,” said Schmitt. “If we play Hiwassee I just want to beat them and never play them again. They question every play.”
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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