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Friday, September 14, 2018

Thursday Highlands Sports Notes

Wins for Highlands Volleyball, Boys Golf, Freshman Football

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior setter Audrey Graves sets up an attack in a recent game. Highlands moved to 13-3 with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-11) win over Boone County on Thursday.
On paper, this looked like one of those games where the Highlands Bluebirds volleyball team should roll to a convincing victory.

The Boone County Lady Rebels (2-18 overall) entered the game struggling. Highlands (13-3) had to overcome some of its own internal struggles, but pulled off a 3-0 9th Region win by 25-15, 25-15, 25-11 scores to move to 5-2 against region opponents.

"We definitely did start of kind of lazy, kind of going in relaxed," said Rylee Kirschenbaum, Highlands Head Coach. "But I think once they did start gaining some points, we looked at each other and (Head) Coach (Katelyn Sallee) was like, 'Okay, come on. You know how to play. Don't play down to the level of your competition.' We were able to rise above that definitely. We're really good at channeling our own energy in low-energy situations. I think that's what really helped us (Thursday)."

Highlands finished with 42 kills and assists, eight aces, 43 digs and two blocks. The Bluebirds had 20 errors. Junior setter Audrey Graves finished with 39 assists and three digs with junior Ava Hockney recording 18 kills, two aces, two digs and a block. Senior Margot Seidel had eight kills, an ace and seven digs. Senior libero Olivia Gessner had 11 digs, three assists and three aces. Freshman CC Shick had seven kills and a block and sophomore Laura Winkler recorded five kills and three digs.

"We're playing an insane amount of volleyball in two weeks so coming into (Friday) night, it was important that we felt solid offensively that we felt balanced using all of our hitters," Sallee said. "The best way to do that was to be in rhythm defensively. We did a really good job of translating most of first contacts into aggressive third contacts. That's how we are going to win games. Overall, it was a really good night. We served well, passed well and we were able to use our middles a lot."

Highlands plays in its own Cake Classic starting Friday.

Golf, Boys:
Highlands 163, Bishop Brossart 170:

The Bluebirds recorded another 8th Region win at AJ Jolly Golf Course against the county rivals. But Head Coach Bert Richey was not as concerned with the win as opposed to something else. The 8th Region Tournament takes place at this course on Sept. 25.

"We have to do a better job of controlling our emotions when we're not playing to the best of our ability," Richey said. "We lost focus too easy and our score reflected it. That's one of our highest scores of the year. The variables for our end goal will be how we play. If we play well, we'll have a chance to win (the 8th Region Tournament). If we don't play well, then our chances of winning probably aren't very good. Each time we play a match, I'll talk to them a little bit about strategy. But the main thing I talk to them about is controlling their emotions and making sure they're making good decisions. You can't change the last shot. But that last shot can affect your next shot if you don't have your mind right. That got us (Thursday). It's probably a good thing we did that so we can get that out of the way and get our train of thought back to where it should be."

Sophomore Luke Muller led Highlands with a 39. Sophomore Justin Gabbard and eighth grader Joel Craft followed with 41s. Seniors Ryan Leigh, Steven Grimme and Brady Walz all shot 42 on the nine-hole course.

"The past week, Coach Richey has really been cracking down telling us to get out and practice when we don't have a match so we can keep our flow," Grimme said. "If you're in a good flow a couple days in a row and you take a day off, that could ruin that flow. The day after you take a day off, you could be a different person out there on the course so you have to keep playing."

Highlands plays in the Grant County Invitational at Eagle Creek Country Club in Dry Ridge on Saturday. Tee time is 7:30 a.m.

Football, Freshman:
Highlands 42, Simon Kenton 15:

The Bluebirds moved to 4-0 on the season with another convincing win in Independence despite committing six turnovers.

Highlands rushed for all six touchdowns. Griffin Richter led the way with three touchdowns. Jake Welch, Foster Schuett and Will Hartman had one each.

The Bluebirds take on Beechwood at Cecil Memorial on Sept. 20. Game time is 6 p.m.

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