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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Highlands Saturday Results

Volleyball Wins Cake Classic for First Time Since 2017

Contributed Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds volleyball team won its annual Cake Classic for the first time since 2017.

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Head Coach Katelyn Sallee mentioned the possibility of facing the Holy Cross Indians for a second time in three days in the annual Cake Classic on Saturday.

That third meeting for the Highlands Bluebirds volleyball team (21-6 overall) carried the most weight in the form of the tournament championship. The Bluebirds came through with a 2-0 victory (25-21, 25-20) beating the Indians (16-5) for the first time this season. 

This also marked the first win in six tries over a team ranked in the top five in the 9th Region. The Bluebirds won the Cake Classic for the first time since 2017.

"It was exciting for them to have the opportunity to play them again so quickly," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "Volleyball is a hard game to have that kind of consistency and that type of control and competitiveness to carry on from the same opponent from one match to the next. To see us sustain the same energy from Thursday and come in clear-minded, focused and engaged was really good. I feel like we're so evenly matched."

Highlands had a .148 hitting percentage in the win connecting for 24 kills on 81 attempts and 12 errors. Senior left CC Shick had eight kills and senior Sophia Sarakatsannis had seven. Senior Nicole Ossege had four.

The Bluebirds had four aces, no blocks, 51 digs and 24 assists. Senior Madison Clore had two aces and nine digs. Senior Honor Valentine and Sarakatsannis had 11 each with Shick digging up 10. Senior setter Madison Opitz had 23 assists.

"We definitely wanted that win (Saturday)," Opitz said. "We worked together and gelled really well. We were excited throughout the whole game."

Valentine said the main person to contain for Holy Cross is sophomore middle hitter Julia Hunt. Her sister is junior setter Maya Hunt.

"For Julia, we really just tried to get some hands on (the ball)," Valentine said. "We took into account that she's going to have big swings and that's going to be okay. But we did as best as we can to try to get into a dig, dig, kill scenario. She's just a well-rounded player. She sees our side of the court and looks for holes."

Highlands finished pool play in the tournament with a 2-0 (25-12, 25-13) win over Walton-Verona an hour before the title game. This marked the second win over the Bearcats this season.

"The thing that I'm most encouraged by is that while on paper, Thursday was a loss," Sallee said. "I think emotionally, we just didn't wear that as hard as we could have. We came back and said we're going to take care of business. We believed we could do it. Instead of coming in hardened and just coming in with a vengeance because that can be short-sighted, I think we came in the mind that said we can beat this team (Holy Cross). We know this team really well. It was a mature way to head into this match."

Highlands had 20 kills and assists, one solo block each from senior Lauren Buemi and Shick, 22 digs and nine aces. Shick had 10 kills and Sarakatsannis had six kills, seven digs and two aces. Opitz had 14 assists, four digs and four aces. Clore had five digs and an ace with Valentine recording two aces.

Highlands plays host to Simon Kenton on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Soccer, Girls:
South Oldham 4, Highlands 0:

The state's second-ranked Lady Dragons (15-1) downed the visiting Bluebirds (9-4). This marked South Oldham's 10th shutout of the season. Their lone loss came 3-0 at home to top-ranked Notre Dame (18-0).

South Oldham had 12 shots compared to nine for Highlands. Senior goalkeeper Hailey Parks had eight saves for the Bluebirds.

The Bluebirds take on St. Henry on Monday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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