|Highlands Volleyball Handles NewCath|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Jade Rehberger (19) and sophomore Lindsay Stein (13) get in position in a recent game.|
The Highlands Bluebirds volleyball team (16-3) came into this rivalry game with a much better record.
But the Bluebirds did not give the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (6-10) any hope dispatching them 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-11). Highlands has won seven of the last eight meetings.
"Over the last couple years, it's been good that they have been able to still keep that rivalry to a degree and not put too much energy to that because I think that just loads too much pressure into the match," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "Really, we kind of prepared for this match the way we did the rest of the season just really talking about our side of the net, talking how we handle us. Then as we see things come up, we deal with the opponent."
That lone loss came during the regular season last year. But NewCath graduated five players off that team including Madison McCloskey. Her younger sister Riley McCloskey transferred to defending state champion Notre Dame.
Highlands had 39 kills and assists, three solo blocks, 73 digs and 11 aces in the victory. Senior Sophia Sarakatsannis had 20 digs, six aces and a kill. Senior Honor Valentine had 13 digs and an ace and senior Madison Clore had 10 digs and an ace.
The solid serve reception allowed the setters to do their thing. Senior Madison Opitz had 25 assists and 11 digs with junior Kenzi Vennefron recording 14 assists and seven digs.
Senior CC Shick led Highlands with 18 kills and added five digs. Senior Avery Cavacini followed with seven kills and senior Nicole Ossege had six kills. Senior Lauren Buemi had five kills and two solo blocks.
"This is always going to be a big game to us," Buemi said. "Keeping calm is always our thing. Coach (Sallee) always says to play Highlands volleyball. To us, that means full effort all the time. Go for any ball. Just do as much as you can no matter what. Always look ahead, not behind."
The Bluebirds continue 36th District action Tuesday at Newport. Game time is 6 p.m.
East Central (Indiana) 1, Highlands 0:
The Bluebirds (5-2) could not penetrate the East Central back line in the loss.
Highlands managed seven shots with three on goal. East Central had seven shots on goal. Highlands senior goalkeepers Hailey Parks and Meg Gessner had two and four saves respectively.
The Bluebirds take on Eastern Brown from Sardinia, Ohio on Saturday. Game time is 6 p.m.
Summit Country Day 2, Highlands 1:
The Silver Knights (3-0-2) escaped with a win over the visiting Bluebirds (8-3-1).
Senior Jordan Frisk scored his sixth goal of the season for Highlands tying the team lead. Junior Peyton Helminiak had his fourth assist also tying for the team lead.
Highlands had seven shots on goal, 10 fouls, one corner kick and two yellow cards. Junior goalkeeper Connor Mathis had five saves and sophomore Jack Wilson had seven for the Bluebirds.
The Bluebirds take on Cincinnati (Ohio) Walnut Hills of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference on Saturday. Game time is 4 p.m.
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