In opening the Division II volleyball postseason with a 25-3, 25-7, 25-8 win over visiting Columbus Marion-Franklin on Monday, the toughest part for Highland was the wait.
Due to issues getting a bus to take them from Columbus to Highland, the Red Devils didn’t reach the school until a bit after 7 p.m., pushing the start of the match back from 6 p.m. to roughly 7:35. Despite, the delay, Scot head coach Rob Terrill was simply happy that his team was able to get in the match.
“We just wanted to play,” said Terrill. “Some teams take a bye here, but we’re healthy and have young kids we’d like to get into the ballgame and mix them in. It means a lot to the younger kids getting in to play with the more experienced kids and vice versa, also — the experienced kids get to work with the younger kids. That’s why we play it. We had 15 kids get in the game tonight and for some, it was their first varsity experience.”
Once on the court, the Scots wasted no time in taking over the match. Larsen Terrill scored three points and Camryn Miller tallied five to help stake the team to an early 9-1 lead. With the score 10-3 in favor of Highland, they finished the set with 15 straight serves for scores. Zoya Winkelfoos tallied the first 11 before being replaced by Savanna Sanborn, who finished off the set with four straight.
Scoring runs paved the way to a second set win, as well. Leading 3-2, the team got two points by Kameron Stover and followed that up with six by Brooke Schott and two from Alexis Eusey to lead 15-5. Holding a 16-7 advantage, nine straight by Terrill finished off the set.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Winkelfoos and Sanborn combined for nine straight to stake Highland to a commanding lead. Two by Stover, three each from Alexis Eusey and Kendall Kline and one from Miller then helped send the team to the next round.
Coach Terrill liked being able to mix up his rotation to get more players into the game.
“You have to break the ice somewhere,” he said of getting younger players into the playoff contest. “You don’t want to make them nervous. I don’t tell them, “You’re going in at such-and-such time.’ I just turn around and tell them, ‘You’re in.’ They don’t have any time to think about it, so they go play.”
Stover finished with 10 kills and five aces, while Schott added six kills and five aces. Winkelfoos had eight aces and five kills, Mia Stanco tallied four kills, Sanborn picked up seven aces and Terrill totaled five aces and 24 assists.
After a rough stretch where his team played five matches in eight days recently, Rob Terrill was happy to get his team on the court for the postseason.
“We had a rough end of the season there,” he said. “We had a tough week with River Valley, then at Hartley and going to Galion and finishing up with two more league games. We played a lot there at the end and against some real tough teams. We had a couple days off and we’ll get started with the tournament now.”