Highland volleyball breaks out of 6-game skid

By TJ Rhodes
Posted 9/13/23

The Highland Huskies hosted the Wapello Arrows on Tuesday, Sept. 5, losing the match in three sets: 25-22, 25-17 and 25-18. An assortment of errors by the Huskies outweighed their chances to pull …

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Highland volleyball breaks out of 6-game skid


The Highland Huskies hosted the Wapello Arrows on Tuesday, Sept. 5, losing the match in three sets: 25-22, 25-17 and 25-18. An assortment of errors by the Huskies outweighed their chances to pull ahead.

Set one was the closest of the three. After 20 kills, the score was tied at 10.

On the 21st play, Highland’s Madison Beeson made a diving save to dig the ball back up in the air to give the Huskies a chance.

After directing the ball over the net, the Arrows would eventually win the rally despite Beeson’s efforts.

Down 20-18, the Huskies were determined to stay in it. They traded blows with the Arrows until the score was 24-22.

Within reach, Highland junior Adeline Krotz, who spent most of her time at the net as a hitter, went to serve the ball. On said serve, Krotz’s foot hit the outside boundary, ending the set with a Wapello win.

Set two began similarly to set one, close-knit action.

Wapello began to dictate play after holding a slim 9-7 lead. After this, they went on a 15-8 run. Highland would score two more points, bringing them to within seven, down 24-17.

One of those points belonged to a big block by Highland senior Payton Brun, who blocked the ball cleanly over the net, killing it with ease.

After that block gave hope to the Highland gymnasium, Wapello brought everyone back down to Earth with a final point to seal the deal. This gave Wapello the 2-0 lead.

Just like the sets before it, set three began competitive before Wapello started to capitalize and run away with it.

The set began with junior Laney Skelton diving on the floor for an awkward ball that was out of everyone’s reach. Skelton saved the ball for teammates who got it over the net, killing the play for their first lead. They took a 2-0 lead and eventually had a 4-3 lead as well.

Skelton had another great save in the set, but the second time she laid out for a save, none of her teammates called for the ball. Instead, they all watched the ball slowly dip to the ground, awarding Wapello the point.

After that, the Huskies did not possess the lead again, losing the set 25-18 and the match 3-0. 

Highland 2, Winfield-Mt. Union 3, 9/7

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the Huskies went on the road to take on the Winfield-Mt. Union Wolves for an SEISC North matchup. Here, the Huskies season record would drop to 4-4 after losing in five sets, 3-2.

The set scores were 25-12 for WMU, 25-18 for Highland, 25-14 for Highland, 25-18 for W-MU and finally 16-14 for WMU.

The Huskies have not beaten the Wolves since 2016, yet this was the closest they have come since 2017. WMU swept Highland seven straight times dating back to 2019 and the last set to go the distance was in 2017 with W-MU winning.

Wilton Varsity Tournament, 9/9

Following Highland’s two game skid, the Huskies traveled to Wilton for a tournament including six teams. Those teams being Burlington, Mediapolis, Mount Pleasant, Wilton, and Winfield-Mt. Union.

Highland lost 2-0 in four different matches, one to Wilton (13-3) with scores of 21-8 and 23-21. The others came against Mediapolis (5-0) with scores of 21-11 and 21-15; Burlington (7-7) with scores of 21-19 and 21-16; Winfield-Mt. Union (7-8) with scores of 21-12 and 21-19.

This was a chance to build off an impressively competitive game against W-MU and even take revenge. Instead, the Huskies saw their season record drop to 4-8.

Highland 3, Columbus 1, 9/12

Highland broke free of this six-game skid with a 3-1 match win over the Columbus Wildcats on Tuesday, Sept. 12.  Highland won set one 25-17, ending with a spike from senior Sarah Burton. 

Columbus tied it after set two with a dominant 25-13 win.

Set three was the closest of the night, won by Highland 25-22. Columbus was finshed off by a perfect tip from junior Adeline Krotz between the defense.

Highland finished Columbus with a set four win, 25-20.  The final kill coming from senior Payton Brun. 

Highland will next compete at Cardinal Community High School on Saturday, Sept. 16 for a tournament. 

See The News for more information on Highland vs. Columbus and the Cardinal tournament next Wednesday, Sept. 20. 

Highland, High School, Huskies, Columbus Wildcats, Iowa, Volleyball.