|Highlands Soccer, Volleyball Win District Games|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior goalkeeper Connor Mathis gets in position in a recent game.|
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The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (10-3-1 overall) outlasted the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (5-7-1), 4-2 at Morscher Field for its 11th straight win in the rivalry.
Highlands led 3-2 at halftime. The Bluebirds had 35 shots with 21 on goal compared to nine shots on goal for NewCath. Highlands had 11 fouls, one corner kick and four offsides calls.
"We were a little flat starting," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "NC scored both goals quickly. When you are playing on a grass field, it is a pretty small field. Goals are going to be scored. Our guys did a good job pushing through. In the second half frankly, (NewCath) was not super threatening. We had every bit of confidence at that point we were going to see the game out. We don't expect these games to be pretty. But we do expect the guys to get the results and that's exactly what we did."
The two Highlands goalkeepers again split halves. Junior Connor Mathis is had four saves in the first half and sophomore Jack Wilson had three in the second half.
Highlands junior forward Colin Pieper led the way scoring two goals and adding two assists for six points. Pieper has a team-high 10 goals and four assists for a team-high 24 points.
"Every time we play NC, it is always a tough battle, especially on their field," Pieper said. "Coming into the game, everyone was real excited. Emotions were high. But we did well to contain ourselves and play calm under pressure."
Senior forward/midfielder Jordan Frisk had one goal and an assist for three points. He has eight goals and a team-high six assists on the year for 14 points.
Junior midfielder Caden Schroeder had the other goal and sophomore forward/midfielder Chad Gesenhues had an assist. Schroeder has five goals and Gesenhues two assists on the season.
The Bluebirds play host to Campbell County on Thursday. Game time is 8 p.m.
Highlands 3, Newport 0:
The Bluebirds (17-3) moved to 2-0 in 36th District play with the convincing road win.
"We like playing in that gym. But it often is quiet," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "It is good practice for us to stay in control with what we need to do and not count on anybody. We slowly did that in the first set. But in the second and third set, we were able to establish our own side of the net."
Highlands had 15 aces in the win to go with 30 assists and kills, two solo blocks from senior Lauren Buemi and 44 digs. Senior defensive specialist Madison Clore had 13 digs, four aces and three assists. Buemi and senior CC Shick led Highlands with nine kills each. Senior Sophia Sarakatsannis had eight digs and three aces.
The Bluebirds used both setters in the win as all 16 players saw action. Junior Kenzi Vennefron had 15 assists and four digs and senior Madison Opitz had 12 assists and six digs.
"We came in with high energy," said Emma Daly, Highlands junior of the team's depth. "It is definitely different. But we made the most of our opportunities."
Highlands takes on St. Henry (16-5) on Thursday in 9th Region action. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
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