The Highland volleyball team remained perfect on the season at 11-0 and 7-0 in MOAC play after defeating a game Clear Fork squad on Thursday by scores of 25-16, 25-17 and 25-12.
Head coach Rob Terrill said that he was impressed by the Clear Fork effort, while also noting that the match was a sign that, despite their perfect record, his team still has work to do.
“They did a really good job of extending rallies,” he said. “For a team that’s struggled a little bit, their coaching staff has them working hard. It was good for us to have some rallies to play with. We’re by no means where we need to be. We have to keep getting better every game and we’ll keep working at that.”
The Scots got off to a fast start in the first set, getting three points each from the serving of Larsen Terrill and Camryn Miller in taking an 8-1 lead. They would not be able to pull away, though, as the Colts were able to rally within a 12-8 margin.
Highland would get a defensive point and three more from Alexis Eusey to get some breathing room at 16-8 and then maintained that advantage the rest of the way. Both Miller and Kameron Stover scored once for the Scots and Zoya Winkelfoos added a pair of points as they took the first set by nine.
Things started slowly for the team in the second set, as Clear Fork jumped out to a 6-2 lead. A defensive point and one score from Stover trimmed that deficit in half, but the Colts maintained a lead that they were able to extend to as much as 12-7.
“They had some good swings in there where our defense wasn’t where it needed to be,” said coach Terrill. “We need to work on a lot of fine-tuning of things and that helps us get there. We did have some struggles at times and some of that they caused and some of that we caused.”
Highland would bounce back and dominate the rest of the set. After a defensive point, the team got four straight by Miller to tie the score at 12. With it deadlocked at 13, the Scots strung together three straight points from Terrill and two each from Stover, Brooke Schott and Eusey to pull away for the 25-17 win.
There was no such suspense in the third set. Highland opened with two points from Terrill and three from Miller and then got three more from Stover in opening up an 11-3 lead in a game they would lead comfortably the entire way.
Stover tallied 18 kills and three aces in the match, while Schott had seven kills and three blocks, Terrill finished with six kills and 29 assists and Miller picked up 11 digs.
Competing in both the MOAC and KMAC, Highland hasn’t lost a league match since October 2012 — a streak that has reached 132 contests and is second in OHSAA volleyball history. While the team has had to survive a couple tough matches so far this year, Terrill is pleased with how his team has keep the streak going despite losing a lot of last year’s leadership to graduation.
“The girls are proud of the streak,” he said. “The sophomores were in kindergarten when the streak started, so they feel they have a responsibility to keep playing at a high level and there are times when we’ve played very mature despite not having a lot of experience. We’re playing sophomores and a junior Libero and a good mix of players and so I’m proud of the girls for that.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS