The Highland volleyball team continued to roll in KMAC play, as they defeated Mount Gilead by scores of 25-5, 25-5 and 25-16 on Tuesday.
In their home match, the Scots dominated the first two sets behind long scoring runs. After jumping out to an 18-4 lead in the first set, a five-point run by Emma West put them close to their eventual win.
They would start out the second just as quickly as they finished the first, with Makenna Belcher serving for seven straight points to stake Highland to a commanding lead.
Mount Gilead wouldn’t be able to work their way back into the match, as they were unable to score on their serving attempts, while the Scots put up at least one point on five of six trips to the service line. With a 9-2 lead, the Scots got one point from Abby Eusey, three by Kendall Stover, five from Zoya Winkelfoos and four by West as they picked up a second straight 25-5 win.
In the third game, the Scots played a younger group of players, with a number of girls who were splitting time between the varsity and JV squads seeing a lot of action.
Mount Gilead immediately jumped out to a 6-0 lead behind the serving of Candace Millisor. Millisor would miss on her seventh serve, which turned into a big problem for the Indians in the game, as they were unsuccessful on five serves in the set. Indian head coach Megan Oder noted that one thing her team needs to work on is controlling what they can on their side of the net.
“I feel like we learned we have to control what’s going on on our side of the net,” she said. “We missed more serves than in recent matches. We have to make sure we don’t give up points. When we go on a run and get a lead, we have to not let it get away on our own.”
After Highland got the ball back, facing a 6-1 deficit, Kyleigh Stiltner scored once for the Scots. West followed with two points and Alexis Eusey tallied three.
With the set tied at nine, Mount Gilead was able to get three points from Grace Mowery to regain the lead, but Winkelfoos responded with three to keep the action closely contested. However, with the score 15-14 in favor of the Scots, they were able to pull away behind the serving of Brooklyn Croy, who tallied seven straight points.
Two defensive points and one serve from Stiltner later and Highland had claimed the 3-0 win over MG.
“It was good to get into a Tuesday KMAC match with one of our former players coaching (Oder),” said Highland coach Rob Terrill. “Megan has them going in the right direction. They’re digging for balls and competing.”
And Terrill was happy to give his younger players a chance to get playing time in a varsity match, as well as have the opportunity to work through some adversity.
“It’s good for them to get a couple JV sets in and then a couple varsity,” he said. “They watched the score be 25-5 and 25-5 and then get in there and down 6-0 and had to find out what we’re not doing.”
For Mount Gilead, with the tournament approaching, Oder is looking for her team to continue improving.
“I’d like to see us work on eliminating unforced errors,” she said. “And have a lot of excitement and being happy every time we go out and play.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS