By Brian O’Shea, Plateau Daily News
Highlands faced off against Blue Ridge Early College on Oct. 16 in the first round of the Little Smoky Mountain Conference girls volleyball tournament held in Hiwassee Dam and won 3-0.
“In the first round of the tournament we played Blue Ridge and came out and really took control in the first and second set,” said Highlands Coach Kaitlin Bishop. “The 3rd set we were trailing towards the end of the match, but came together and were able to capitalize to seal the win at the end.”
Highlands finishes the season with a 7-16 record overall, 5-1 in conference. The Lady Bobcats finished the season with a 5-12 record overall, 2-4 in conference.
The Lady Highlanders advanced to round 2 of the tournament and took on Hiwassee Dam, but ended up losing with a final of 3-1.
“The girls came out in the first set and played some of the best volleyball they have played all year,” said Bishop. “In the second set we dug ourselves a hole that we just never could get back out of. Hiwassee Dam kept momentum going into the third and fourth sets and Highlands just couldn’t ever get back into a rhythm.”
Bishop said the season went well and she’s proud of the girls.
“Our record does not reflect how much growth we made through the year,” said Bishop. “I am extremely proud of our team for their hard work and dedication from day one. We did not play an easy schedule and even when we fell short we showed up to compete with some of the best.”
Blue Ridge will lose senior Vanessa Russell next year and she was recognized on Senior Night at home on Oct. 10.
Highlands will say goodbye to four senior players, including Mac Woods, Caitlin Tingen, Catelynn Couch, and Olivia Cole.