Story Matters

Story Matters

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Thursday Highlands Results

Boys Soccer Finishes Undefeated in 9th Region Action in Regular Season

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands volleyball team came up short at Holy Cross on Thursday.

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The Highlands Boys soccer team (14-3-1 overall) needed one more win on Senior Night to conclude the regular season undefeated in 9th Region action.

Tied 1-1 at halftime, the Bluebirds outscored the Dixie Heights Colonels (10-3-1), 3-0 in the second half on their way to a 4-1 victory. Highlands finished the regular season 9-0 in region play.

"We've talked about not taking things for granted," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "They're realizing we do a lot for this program and it means a lot to us. We owed it to the seniors for what they've contributed to the program to make it the night that it was. I think we saw great contributions from our seniors, juniors and two sophomores. The energy was great and we had some great support from the student section. If this is where we pick up in the postseason, we're going to be in great shape going forward."

The Bluebirds have eight seniors on the team. They are Cole Lorenzen, Jordan Frisk, Joel Kendall, Nick Robinson, Sawyer Tate, Thomas Gray-Torsell and Wyatt Thompson.

"Our strongest part of our season so far has been starting the second half," Robinson said. "We started the second half strong and we never really looked back. Normally when we get ahead like that, we just keep pushing until (opponents) pretty much give up. The seniors deserve it."

Highlands had 23 shots including 12 on goal to go with two offsides calls, four fouls and seven corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Jack Wilson had five saves.

Frisk, junior Colin Pieper and sophomore Chad Gesenhues had one goal and one assist each. Lorenzen had the fourth goal. Pieper has a team-high 15 goals and seven assists for a team-high 37 points. Frisk has 12 goals and a team-high nine assists for 33 points. Gesenhues has seven goals and four assists for 18 points and Lorenzen has four goals on the season.

Highlands travels to Cincinnati Winton Woods on Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.

Covington Holy Cross 3, Highlands 2:

Tied at 15 in the final game, Holy Cross (14-4) scored on a tight call along the sideline and a Highlands hitting error to win the game. The Indians won the first game 25-20 before the Bluebirds won the next two 25-16 and 25-20.

"It was without a doubt I feel like the proudest moment I've had this season watching the girls rally and fight and do every single thing I asked of them," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "It came down to two points. It was just an incredible match. I told them at the end with tears in my eyes and the whole team feeling it, 'When people ask me how the season is going, I very rarely say the record because there are other measurable things that I really point to.' Nights like this, I can proudly say it's going well. I'm super bummed that we didn't get to take the W, but really proud of the team."

But Highlands could not find a rhythm in the fourth game. Holy Cross built a big lead and won 25-20.

"You have to just jump on top of it and get ahead," Sallee said. "You can't give this team an inch. We didn't give them much really. But we didn't close the door. We just had the one little run that we allowed. When you give (that), they're going to make you pay for it."

The Bluebirds had 50 kills, 49 assists, five solo and four assisted blocks, 92 digs and 11 aces. Senior CC Shick had 21 kills, one solo and one assisted block and 10 digs. Senior Sophia Sarakatsannis had 12 kills, 22 digs and three aces. Junior Emma Daly had two solo blocks. Senior Lauren Buemi had five digs, three aces and four kills.

Highlands senior setter Madison Opitz had 42 assists. Senior Honor Valentine and Madison Clore had 20 and 19 digs.

The Bluebirds honored the passing of Clore's grandmother Sandy Clore-Schmaedecke earlier in the week by wearing pink ribbons on their shoes. She'd been battling cancer for months. Clore said not playing Thursday did not cross her mind and Schmaedecke would not want her to do that.

"I'm very thankful she got to watch me. She's a role model for me and I love her very much," Clore said. "I'm going to miss her. I was playing for her (Thursday) and so was the team."

Clore's sister Rylee plays on the freshman team. Rylee Clore thanked her grandmother.

"She was there for me through thick and thin," Rylee Clore said. "She was so inspirational throughout her years. I would just like to say she has been though so much. She has fought and she has shown her strength throughout (the) cancer (battle). I will miss her forever, especially on the court with my teammates. They showed how much we can come together. I just want to say thank you to her."

The Bluebirds play twice in the Cake Classic on Friday. They take on Bishop Brossart at 5:15 p.m. and South Oldham at 6:15 p.m.

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