|Boys Soccer, Volleyball Record Victories|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior goalkeeper Connor Mathis gets in position in a recent game.|
The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (4-1-1 overall) hopes games like this become the norm.
Highlands came out strong in a 9th Region contest against the Conner Cougars (6-1-1) at Tower Park recording a 4-1 victory. The Bluebirds moved to 3-0 in region play.
"We're definitely one of the strong contenders in the area," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We feel we had something to prove and we asserted ourselves. We're proud of the result. We played a lot better in the second half. We're starting to gel together as a team. We enjoy what we're doing and the results trickle from there."
The Bluebirds recorded 16 shots with 11 on goal. Highlands also had two offsides calls, eight fouls, five corner kicks and a yellow card. Highlands junior goalkeeper Connor Mathis and sophomore goalkeeper Jack Wilson made three saves each.
Senior forward/midfielder Jordan Frisk passed a nice through ball to junior forward Colin Piper for the game's first goal. That marked the third assist of the season for Frisk.
Senior midfielder Cole Lorenzen scored his second goal of the season later in the half. The Bluebirds led 2-1 at halftime.
"When we get a couple goals early on, it helps build the momentum for the rest of the game and we never really looked back," said Nick Robinson, Highlands senior defender. "We kept everything in front. They tried to play some through balls back. We were just making sure they didn't get behind us. When they did, our keepers were there to scoop them up. We played the easy balls when they came to our feet and we cleared them when nobody was open."
Pieper scored his team-high fifth goal in the second half on a nice cross from junior midfielder Peyton Helminiak. Helminiak and Frisk lead the team with three assists each. Pieper owns team-highs with five goals and 10 points.
Sophomore forward/midfielder Chad Gesenhues scored the game's final goal later in the second half. That marked his third goal of the season.
Highlands travels across the river to face the Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder Panthers (0-1) on Saturday. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Panther Athletic Complex located at 1915 Quebec Road near Queen City Avenue.
Highlands 3, Scott 0:
Highlands moved to 4-1 with another sound home victory over the Lady Eagles (1-4) by 25-20, 25-9, 27-25 scores. The Bluebirds own two 3-0 victories this week.
"It's been a good sign," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "I still think we kind of had some drop-offs during the first and third (games). I think we're getting into some rhythms. I think we still have to make sure that we're consistent."
Highlands had 17 aces, 34 assists, 34 kills, two solo blocks and 60 digs in the victory. Senior outside/right side hitter Sophia Sarakatsannis led the Bluebirds with 19 digs to go with six kills and two aces. Senior defensive specialist Madison Clore followed with 15 digs. Senior Honor Valentine followed with eight digs and an ace.
"Other teams are pretty scrappy so we have to be scrappy as well," Clore said of getting into a rhythm. "Pushing through practice and trying to perfect each dig and each serve-receive has really been helping us. When we have tons of energy and we communicate with each other, that helps with the dig, set, kill."
Senior middle blocker/right side hitter CC Shick led Highlands with nine kills to go with three aces. Senior middle blocker/right side hitter Lauren Buemi had six kills, six aces and three digs. Senior right side/outside hitter Lauren Ossege had seven kills and senior middle blocker Avery Cavacini had five kills.
Junior setter Kenzi Vennefron led the Bluebirds with 27 assists. Senior setter/defensive specialist Madison Opitz had four assists and four digs.
Highlands plays in the Bluegrass Invitational Volleyball Tournament on Friday at the Sports Center in Lexington at the Fayette Mall located at 3401 Nicholasville Road. The Bluebirds play Lexington Henry Clay (1-4) at 6 p.m. Friday then either Rowan County (1-0) or Logan County (2-0). Highlands plays at 8 p.m. with a win or 9 p.m. with a loss.
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