Highland Volleyball Beats Cowley to Host District Tournamentpublished November 3, 2017
Highland Volleyball Beats Cowley to Host District Tournament
A Monday night showdown between the #7 Cowley Tigers at the home of the Highland Scotties was a crucial volleyball matchup that would secure either team a second place finish in the Jayhawk Conference. The Scottie volleyball team, on Sophomore Night, with a big crowd to support it, swept the 35-5 Tigers in a dominating 3-0 match. "It was a humble excitement because of the way we played. We had business on our mind, we had an agenda, and we stuck to it. That mentality we were able to show during the match shows a level of maturity that this team is peaking at the right time," commented Head Coach Jon Bingesser.
Prior to the match, sophomores Koie Orozco (Savannah, MO), Leslie Polanco (Dominican Republic), and Zealia Kleitz (Osawatomie), along with two year volleyball manager Cameryn Rasmussen (Bel Aire) were all recognized for their time and efforts for the past two years helping build the Highland volleyball program.
The first set of the night was the Scotties’ strongest of the three, which seemed to take all the momentum from the Tigers. Orozco took control of the offense on the right side, putting down seven kills with an error free team behind her to help finish the set with a .341 hitting average. Every player to see the floor came up with a dig, led by Kirsten Johnson (FR, Topeka), ultimately winning 25-19.
The second set was a battle as was expected, but the Tigers could not handle the Highland heat from all over the court. Katie Pearson (FR, Kansas City, MO) stayed consistent with eight set assists throughout the set, with Polanco being the dominant force with three kills and six digs. The set concluded in favor of the Scotties 25-21.
Highland did not back down in the third set, with the Tigers right on their heels to fight to take a set. Highland never gave up its momentum with a powerful offense with a team 15 kills. With the team up 24-23, Polanco put a kill down off of a Pearson set to take the match 25-23 and the second place spot in the Conference.
"Our women have put so much time, energy, and hard work into this season. Seeing them earn the victory only validates their efforts. I thought we were calm, cool, and kept ourselves in control throughout the entire match. We are excited to host Districts this weekend. It's always a great opportunity when we can play at home. We have a great crowd that creates a really fun environment to play in. This weekend, we just need to maintain our focus and continue to take care of business."
The sophomores were the three offensive leaders in the three set match, each with double digit kills; Orozco (12), Polanco (11), and Kleitz (10). Pearson dished out 33 assists on the evening and also put down one ace, one kill, two blocks, and four digs. Polanco and Orozco each contributed on defense with 14 and 10 digs respectively followed by Wagner and Johnson with eight apiece and Tyah Barnett (FR, Kansas City, MO)picking up six. The team had a big blocking game with nine solo blocks and had a solid hitting percentage of .241.
The Highland volleyball team has concluded regular season play 30-11, 7-2; their first 30 season win in the history of Highland volleyball, and the first time to host the District Tournament. Districts will be on Saturday, November 4, in Allen Field House on the Highland campus. Highland (#2) will play KCK (#7) at 10:00 am, Cowley (#3) will face off with Fort Scott (#6) at noon, and the winners will play for the District championship at 2:00 pm.