The Highland volleyball team continued to cruise in the postseason on Wednesday when they took on London in a Division II district semifinal hosted by Licking Heights High School.
The team breezed through the first two sets, winning by scores of 25-10 and 25-8. While the play was a bit sloppier in the third set, they still collected a 25-18 decision to finish off the sweep of the Red Raiders.
“We had some spurts where we’ve played really well,” said the team’s coach, Rob Terrill. “They only had six errors in the first two sets, so the rest was all us.”
The Scots trailed early in the first set, but with the score 3-2 in favor of London, Darcie Walters and Raina Terry changed that in a hurry. Walters served for three points to put her team on top and then, with Highland leading 6-4, Terry picked up 10 straight points serving to allow the Scots to open up a 12-point edge.
From there, Kendall Stover, Abby Eusey and Makenna Belcher each served for two points and Highland was able to pull away for a 15-point win.
They were even more dominating in the second set. Leading 4-3 in the early going, they got six points from Terry to take a comfortable lead. Holding a 14-6 advantage, the Scots were able to put the finishing touches on the set thanks to three points from Makenna Belcher, five from Ashlynn Belcher and one from Walters.
Highland would jump out to a big lead in the third game, getting three points from Makenna Belcher, one from Ashlynn Belcher and four from Brilynn Tuggle in taking a 10-3 lead. However, mistakes by the Scots would keep London in the game. Terrill noted his team committed 13 errors in that set.
“We can’t give other teams free points like that,” he said. “We’ve got to play confident and not give teams reason to be confident themselves.”
London wouldn’t be able to use Highland’s third-set struggles to get back into the match. Instead, the Scot lead merely revolved between a six- and seven-point margin for most of the remainder before they recorded their 25th point and completed their third straight three-set sweep of a top-eight seeded team in the Central District playoffs.
Terry finished the match with 14 kills and seven aces, while Stover tallied nine kills and four blocks. Makenna Belcher added eight kills and Walters had three aces.
The 21-4 Scots’ next opponent is Utica, the fourth-seeded team in the district that is led by Emily Londot, a player whom Terrill respects greatly.
“Obviously, Emily Londot is an awesome player,” he said. “She’s a great kid with a great family and she brings a lot to the table. It’ll be if we can run tempo the way we want it. If we can serve and serve receive well, it’ll be a fun match-up.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS