Story Matters

Story Matters

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thursday Highlands Results

Highlands Handles NewCath in 36th District Battle

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Rylee Kirschenbaum (12) follows through on a serve in a recent game.
The Highlands Bluebirds (11-2 overall) found themselves in a challenge to play their fast-paced brand of volleyball and not down to the level of the opponent, even in the rivalry game.

Highlands senior setter Audrey Graves said the team was fired up before the game. But once the game started, the seniors made sure everyone stayed on an even keel. That propelled the Bluebirds to a sound 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-15) 36th District victory. NewCath (2-5) has lost five straight.

"It's always going to be an exciting game. On the court, (it was) about looking to each and being like, 'Hey, take a deep breath. We're good. Get this pass' really grounded everybody so that they could do the jobs that we needed to do," Graves said. "We do that anyway. Whether it's hand hugs or anything like is really helpful to keep your mind right."

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Highlands Girls Move on in LexCath Tournament

The Highlands Bluebirds will be playing in the championship game of the Lexington Catholic Lady Knights Challenge Cup.

Highlands (7-0-4 overall) defeated the host Lady Knights (8-2-1), 7-6 on penalty kicks in the semifinals of the winner's bracket to advance to the title game for the first time since 2016. Highlands will play Saturday at 7 p.m. for the title against either Sacred Heart, Notre Dame or Lexington Tates Creek.

Tuesday Highlands Results

Highlands Soccer Wins Again; Volleyball Loses to Region Power

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands sophomore CC Shick (right) goes up for a kill in a recent game.
The Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team will end up playing three times in three days.

Highlands (6-0-4 overall) shut out the Beechwood Lady Tigers, 4-0 on Tuesday at Tower Park. The Bluebirds moved to 4-0-1 in 9th Region play.

"They've been trending upwards in terms of their skill," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "They definitely have a good amount of skill and they definitely play with effort. (Beechwood Head Coach Josh Young) is in his first year, but he definitely did a good job making sure that his girls played hard."

Monday, September 9, 2019

Victories for Highlands Soccer Teams

Bluebirds Win Fourth Straight Against Colonels

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds trap the ball in a recent home game. Highlands edged Covington Catholic, 1-0 on Monday in Park Hills.
It may look as though the Covington Catholic Colonel boys soccer team is struggling based on the 3-6 record.

But the Highlands Bluebirds (7-2-2) did not fall for that deceptive record making a first-half goal stand in a 1-0 victory on the road. The Colonels have lost to the likes of Lexington Henry Clay, Cincinnati (Ohio) Country Day, Dayton (Ohio) Carroll, Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis de Sales and Cincinnati (Ohio) Archbishop McNicholas.

Highlands has won four straight in the series against the Colonels including a 2-1 win in the 9th Region championship in Park Hills last year. Highlands is 4-0-1 in region play.

"We've realized in these games we're going to grind it out," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "When we're the better team, it's a 50/50 game. When we're the lesser team, it's a 50/50 game. It really doesn't matter what kind of record you got."

Highlands had 16 shots to 10 for the Colonels with three on goal to six for CovCath. Highlands senior goalkeeper Nick Fischer had three saves.

The lone goal came 13 minutes into the game. Junior Max Farris dribbled into the box and fired off a shot. Senior Caymon Stevie put the deflection home for the score.

"When you have the team chemistry that Highland has, it takes a couple passes and maybe a couple dribbles though people," Farris said. "It just all worked out."

Highlands had to overcome some free kicks in the second half not far from the goal. But the Bluebirds cleared every one of them. Neither team had a red card. But the Colonels did receive two yellow cards.

"Our midfield plays a lot of defense and a lot of offense," said Porter Hedenberg, Highlands senior. "You have to do both jobs, which is nice. We all three work together really well and we have good chemistry with our six on defense and our six on offense."

Highlands plays host to Covington Holmes (1-5) on Thursday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Soccer, Girls:
Highlands 4, Louisville DuPont Manual 2:

Highlands (5-0-4 overall) overcame a 2-1 halftime deficit against the Lady Crimsons (4-3-1) to win the first game at the annual Lexington Catholic Lady Knights Challenge Cup. Highlands takes on the hosts in the next round Wednesday at 8 p.m.

"In the first half, we didn't start slow, but we didn't have the start that we wanted," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "We were a little fatigued and we kind of told the girls you don't have to go out and play 80 minutes. Just go out and give us five or 10 minutes of good effort. We were down at halftime. We had a talk at halftime. We can play with any team in Kentucky, but we have to act like it. We just can't think that we can walk out there and get a win. That was a good thing being able to overcome a halftime deficit."

Sophomores Faith Broering and Jade Rehberger had one goal and one assist each in the game for three points. Senior Kelsey Mathis and sophomore Macy Hedenberg had one goal each with sophomore Chloe Bramble tallying two assists. Bramble has a team-high seven goals to go with five assists for a team-high 19 points.

"The upperclassmen definitely encourage us," Macy Hedenberg said. "If we do something wrong, they're all so positive and encouraging and we're all best friends."

Highlands takes on Beechwood on Tuesday at Tower Park. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Saturday Highlands Results

Highland Soccer Teams Tie Solid Opponents

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior goalkeeper Nick Fischer had four saves in the 1-1 tie against Lexington Henry Clay on Saturday.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (6-2-2 overall) hoped to finish the week with three nice wins.

The Bluebirds earned a man advantage in the second half of the game against the Lexington Henry Clay Blue Devils, a state semifinalist last season, after the Blue Devils earned a red card. But Highlands could not capitalize and the teams settled for a 1-1 tie. Henry Clay came into the game ranked third in the state in the Maher rankings.

Highlands Boys Golf Wins Bourbon County

First Tournament Win of Season for Bluebirds

Twitter Photo. The Highlands Boys Golf team won the Bourbon County Invitational on Sunday.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys golf team won its first tournament of the season Sunday.

Highlands won the Bourbon County Invitational shooting a 321 team total on the Par-72 course. Junior Justin Gabbard led the way shooting a 74 and placing third individually. Gabbard won medalist honors at the Shelby County Invitational and the Beechwood Invitational earlier in the season.

Six Wins in Three Days for Highlands Volleyball

Bluebirds Fend off Lady Warriors for Tournament Title

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands volleyball team celebrates after winning the September Slam at Scott High on Saturday. The Bluebirds are 10-1 on the season.

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. From left, Highlands sophomores CC Shick, Lauren Buemi and junior Laura Winkler set up in the front row before senior Casey Dunn sets to serve. In the back row are setter Audrey Graves (left) and senior defensive specialist Rylee Kirschenbaum (red jersey).
It came down to one last burst playing as much volleyball as the Highlands Bluebirds (10-1 overall) did over a three-day period.

Highlands found itself back in the championship game of the September Slam hosted by Scott after capping off pool play with two wins Saturday morning. The last opponent of the three-day stretch proved to be solid.

The Southwestern Lady Warriors located about two and a half hours away just outside the Pulaski County county seat of Somerset near Lake Cumberland came into the game with a sparkling 10-2 record. Southwestern's only losses came to host Lexington Lafayette and Station Camp (from the Nashville, Tennessee suburb of Gallatin) in the Bluegrass Invitational a little more than a week ago.

Southwestern has won the 12th Region a number of times over the years including last year. The Lady Warriors beat Paintsville in the state tournament before losing to Campbell County in the state quarterfinals. But Highland had beaten the Lady Warriors in each of the past two September Slam Tournaments.

The Lady Warriors came out the aggressors in the first game building a 10-1 lead. But once sophomore CC Shick landed a hard kill, the vaunted, fast-paced Highlands attack took off. Highlands rallied to win the best-of-three set, 26-24 then 24-19 to win its first September Slam title since 2008 when current Highlands assistant coach Molly Wehage-Maxwell was a senior.