Highland powers past Brookhaven
It didn’t take long for the Highland volleyball team to make an impression on Brookhaven in their Division II sectional opener Tuesday evening.
The host Scots completely dominated the first game of the match in winning by a 25–2 score and then went on to take the final two games by identical 25–13 margins to advance to the second round of the tournament.
Both of Brookhaven’s points in that first game came from preventing the Scots from scoring on serves. However, Heather Thacker managed three points during her turn behind the line and teammate Lexi Winkelfoos later moved the score from 6–2 to 25–2 by serving for 19 straight points.
“We had pretty good focus to start with,” said head coach Rob Terrill. “They were kind of unorthodox. We play entirely different styles of league.”
The Scots also got off to a quick start in the second game, as Kam Terry and Marlese Ferguson helped them jump out to a quick 11–1 advantage that they improved to a 16–4 margin after three quick points from Abby Garcia.
However, the Bearcats battled back to get as close as 17–10 before Highland was able to outlast them down the stretch to close within one game of advancing.
“In the second game, we weren’t passing as well and they got some kills,” said Terrill.
Thacker got the Scots off to a fast start in the third game, as she rolled off six points to help her team to a 7–1 lead. While Brookhaven was able to stay within six or seven points for much of the game, they were unable to provide a serious threat to the home team.
With the score 20–13 late in the contest, Terry finished the game and match by serving for five straight points.
For Terrill, this match was much like his team’s season. In the second game, one of his starters, Carley Gahm, was banged up while diving out of bounds in an attempt to return the ball. However, the team didn’t miss a beat, as freshman Brogin Denman stepped in to fill her spot for the rest of the match.
“We’ve been missing at least one starter all year,” he said. “We lost five seniors last year and then all-league player Heather Thacker was out most of the season and even with that, we’ve been able to fight in the league all year. People have played in different situations and we’re young at spots, but the girls have stepped up and that is good.”
In the contest, Terry finished with 18 kills and six aces; Thacker had four kills and Addie Franklin finished with three kills. Winkelfoos tallied nine aces, while Megan Oder had five and Ferguson finished with four.
Highland wouldn’t be able to get past top-seeded DeSales in their sectional final game on Thursday. The host team won 25–20, 25–21, 25–9 to end the Scot season with a 13–11 record (8–5 in league play).
Terry tallied 12 kills and 11 digs, while Thacker added nine kills and Macy Winkelfoos finished with nine digs.