For their second straight tournament outing, the Highland volleyball was able to cruise to a win — this time dispatching Linden McKinley by scores of 25-7, 25-6 and 25-4.
In the Division II sectional contest hosted by the Scots Wednesday, Makenna Belcher got the team off to a good start in the first set with three straight points. Leading 5-2, Highland then got five points from Bridget Oder, seven from Kendall Stover and one from Darcie Walters to boost that lead to a 19-3 margin. After both teams traded a few defensive points, the Scots would then finish the game with two points by Belcher.
Highland coach Rob Terrill noted that his team used its first two tournament matches to give a lot of players floor time.
“That’s one thing with our schedule,” he said. “We try to make it as tough as possible, but we still find a way to get kids in. We added kids to our playoff roster and gave them a chance to get on the big floor in a varsity game.”
Both the second and third games played out much like the first did. With the score 1-1 in the second, the Scots got eight straight points from Ashlynn Belcher and five more from Oder to pull away to a 15-2 margin. Then, leading 16-4, the team got two points from Stover, three from Kacie O’Leary and two from Emma West to pull away for the win.
Leading 2-1 in the early going of the third game, the Scots quickly blew open that one, as well. O’Leary quickly served for eight straight points and West added six more to stake Highland to a commanding 17-2 margin. Three points each from Cassady Sagar and Abby Eusey were enough to finish off Linden and send the Scots off to the district semifinals.
“It’ll be Bloom-Carroll or River Valley,” said Terrill before finding out that RV topped their opponents that same night. “Either one is better than .500. It’s crazy how it ramps up in one week. The competition gets tough real quick.”
The coach added that his team used the contest with Linden McKinley to fine-tune a few aspects of their game, such as serving. While the team missed a few serves early on, they also wound up with a lot of aces in the match. O’Leary finished with nine, while Oder had eight, Ashlynn Belcher added six, West tallied five, Makenna Belcher finished with four and Stover had four aces and four kills. Also, Kenzee Bargnezi added four kills.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS