The Highland volleyball team cruised into the district finals on Wednesday with a 25-11, 25-9, 25-4 win over Whitehall at Licking Heights.
“I think we probably overmatched them a little bit and they got down on themselves,” said Scot head coach Rob Terrill. “They’re a good team and they worked hard to get here.”
The Rams were a 15-win team that had earned the eighth seed in the Central District’s Division II tournament, but they struggled to get anything going against the Scots after getting off to a decent start in the first set.
Whitehall took an early 4-2 lead, but Highland responded with a defensive point and then got four straight from Krista Walters to take a lead they would not surrender.
“We certainly have a lot of things to work on,” said Terrill. “I think they surprised us at the net early and then me made adjustments and made our presence felt at the net.”
Holding a slim 8-7 advantage after two straight Ram points, the Scots would explode offensively to pull away. After the team tallied a point on defense, Raina Terry started Highland off with three points. Bridget Oder added three more before Parker Steck scored four and Bailey Santo added the final three to give her team a 25-11 win to open the match.
After that, the Scots cruised. With the score tied at two in the second set, Oder scored four points to give her team a lead they would not relinquish. Three points by Santo then gave Highland a 10-3 lead and with the score 14-7, the team got six straight from Steck to take a commanding lead on their way to an easy win.
The third set would be pure domination, as Highland opened with a defensive stop and four points from Oder to take an early 5-0 lead. A stop by the Rams followed by an offensive point got them on the board, but the Scots responded with their own defensive point. Santo then scored eight straight points before Mikaela Brown subbed in for her and tallied two more.
Leading 17-3, Highland then got three points by Terry, who was then replaced by Darcie Walters, who added three more to boost the advantage to a 23-3 margin, as the Scots put the finishing touches on a three-set sweep.
After the win, Terrill noted that when his team is clicking, they have the capability to make quality teams struggle mightily.
“A lot of parents will tell you a team wasn’t good, but we had something to do with that by not putting them in good situations,” he said, citing both aggressive serving and hitting as factors that kept Whitehall from putting runs together. “They came out excited and made good plays, but once we got a block here and a scramble ball there, we got some momentum.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS