Highlands JV volleyball team wins LSMC Championship

Lady Highlanders junior varsity volleyball team defeated Hiwassee Dam in an epic 2-1 victory in October 2022 winning the Little Smoky Mountain Conference championship hosted by Nantahala.

Highlands Birdie Sherwood slams down a kill for a point against Hiwassee Dam.

“The girls played their hearts out to get the win, they played to their best ability and gave it their all,” said Highlands Coach Rylee Corbin. “That’s all I could’ve asked for!”

Highlands Jaylin Raby passes against HD.

In addition to being LSMC champions, Highlands also won first place in conference.

Highlands Claire Worley digs an HD kill.

“The girls worked so hard to improve their abilities and put it to use in the games, and it really showed on the court,” said Corbin. “No matter the outcome of the game, they always wanted to get better. They were coachable, they listened, they hustled, they gave it their all every game and every practice.”

Highlands Shirly Diaz moves to return HD’s serve.

Corbin said there’s a talented group of incoming freshmen playing volleyball next year and she’s excited to watch them continue to grow and improve their skills at the next level.

Highlands Cayden Pierson scores a point against HD.

She added that she would not have this opportunity without her former coach and current Highlands Varsity Volleyball Coach Kaitlin Bishop.

Highlands celebrates winning the LSMC Championship.

“I owe this opportunity to Coach Bishop,” said Corbin. “She has supported me and helped me tremendously while also being understanding and working with my schedule for school. I always had a lot of respect for her when she was my coach in high school and my respect grew for her even more after this season!”

Highlands Coach Rylee Corbin at the LSMC JV Championships at Nantahala.

Highlands Catelynn Couch execute a flawless choreographed handshake while Birdie Sherwood psyches up the team before one of the final points against HD.

Highlands Olivia Corbin digs an HD kill.

Highlands Karen Gomez passes against HD.

Highlands Cayden Pierson has one referee telling her to serve and the other telling her to wait, and they keep repeating those commands.

Highlands varsity volleyball team during game point of the JV LSMC Championship.

Highlands Shirley Diaz serves to HD.

Highlands Birdie Sherwood chases down a free ball against HD.

Highlands Karen Gomez bump-sets a teammate for a kill.

Highlands Jaylin Raby digs an HD kill.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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