Highland’s celebration on the court began just after Huskies junior Carsen Mellinger delivered a set-winning kill against Wapello in the opening round of the Southeast Iowa Super Conference Volleyball Tournament.
The point finished off a 25-19 Huskies victory in the second set of the only three-set match held in pool play at six tournament locations.
A string of plays in that set energized the Huskies, who were the 15th seed in an 18-team tournament.
“It felt good for the girls,” said Huskies coach Gina Trower.
Adding to the energy was the return of Kayla Cerny, a senior who played in just her second and third matches of the season last Thursday at WACO, one of six host schools for the tournament. Cerny had a match-high 14 kills.
“Having her back was definitely an asset for us,” Trower said.
Highland (3-9) lost the third set of the match 15-9 after dropping the first four points of the set. Still, the emotional highs of the second set lifted the Huskies. They were the only losing team among 12 eliminated teams not swept out of pool play.
Before meeting Wapello, Highland was swept by No. 3-seeded WACO, 25-11, 25-10.
Cerny was Highland’s kill leader in both matches.
Payton Brun, a freshman, had three blocks against WACO.
Hillcrest Academy (1-14), the last seed, lost pool matches to No. 6 Central Lee and No. 7 Notre Dame Burlington.
Evelyn Gerber, Malia Sedlacek and Esther Hughes had kills in a 25-9, 25-11 loss to Central Lee.
Hughes had a team-high four kills and Gerber had two aces in a 25-12, 25-9 loss to Notre Dame.
The Ravens will host Columbus for Senior Night next Tuesday.
Lone Tree also was swept in the SEISC Tournament, losing to top-seeded Holy Trinity and No. 12 Van Buren County.
The Lions (5-12) lost to host Holy Trinity by scores of 25-13, 25-9. Josie Mullinnix, Alyssa Knock, Riley Krueger and Skylar Smith each had kills.