The Highland High School volleyball team had a strong showing in its first tournament of the season after going 4-1 and taking third place at the Carbondale Tournament Saturday, Sept. 2.
Then on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Breese Central and were upended by the Cougars, 18-25 25-19 9-25.
Highland, which has opened the season 6-2 under new head coach Katelyn Hagarty, started the Carbondale Tournament with a 25-16, 25-21 win over Centralia before suffering its only loss of the tourney and first of the season in an 18-25, 18-25 defeat to eventual tourney champion and host Carbondale.
The Bulldogs quickly regrouped and rebounded to close out the the day with three successive victories over Cahokia (25-16, 25-15), Cobden (20-25, 25-18, 15-12) and Waterloo (22-25, 25-21, 15-9).
In addition, junior middle hitter Claire Diercks was named to the Carbondale All-Tournament Team after racking up a team-best 51 kills in the five matches. She led or shared the team lead in all five matches in the tournament.
Highland 2, Waterloo 1
Diercks matched her and the team’s tournament high with a dozen kills. She also had six digs and two block assists.
Sophomore setter Megan Vidmar dished out 30 setting assists and added 10 digs and junior libero Emmy Nyquist produced a team-high 18 digs and two service aces.
Also making contributions were junior outside hitter Jennessa Kimmle with seven kills, 14 digs and one ace; senior right-side hitter Megan Sands with six kills, nine digs, one solo block and two block assists; junior outside hitter Megan Ramsey with four kills, 12 digs, one solo block, one block assist and two aces; senior middle hitter Morgan Mesle with one solo block and one block assist; and junior right-side hitter Abby Beyer with one ace.
Highland 2, Cobden 1
Diercks and Kimmle shared the top honors in kills with nine apiece. Diercks also had match highs in aces (five) and service points (nine) to go along with eight digs, two block assists and one setting assist. Kimmle also supplied 12 digs.
Vidmar handed out 24 assists and also added six digs, two solo blocks, one block assist and two aces, while Nyquist led Highland in digs with 16 and also had one ace.
Also logging stats for the Bulldogs were Ramsey with five kills, six digs and one ace; Sands with two kills, four digs and one solo block; and Beyer with two aces.
Highland 2, Cahokia 0
The Bulldogs dominated the match in kills by the lopsided margin of 28-2 over the Comanches.
Diercks slammed down a match-best 12 kills to go along with two solo blocks, two digs and one setting assist. Vidmar contributed 24 assists and five digs while Nyquist showed the way with 16 digs to go with one setting assist.
Also providing production were Kimmle with nine kills, six digs, one solo block and one setting assist; Ramsey with six kills, 11 digs, a match-best three aces and a match-high 10 service points; and Sands with one kill and one setting assist.
Carbondale 2, Highland 0
The Terriers handed the Bulldogs their only setback in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18, and a big part was limiting Highland to just 14 kills and one total block for the match.
Diercks topped the Bulldogs with seven kills. She also had one of Highland’s two aces, five service points and three digs.
Other stats for Highland came from Sands with a team-high eight digs to go with three kills and one block assist; Kimmle with three kills and seven digs, Vidmar with 14 assists; Nyquist with seven digs and one ace; Ramsey with one kill; and Mesle with one dig.
Highland 2, Centralia 0
Diercks and Kimmle shared high honors with 11 kills apiece. Diercks also shared top honors in aces with two and also had one dig. Kimmle also added five digs and one solo block.
Vidmar dished out 28 assists to go with one kill and four digs. Ramsey and Nyquist matched one another for tops on the team in digs with 10. Ramsey and Nyquist also each shared team-best honors in aces with Diercks, all with two apiece.
Also making contributions were Sands with two kills, five digs and one block assist; Beyer with nine service points and one ace; and Mesle with one block assist and one dig.
Breese Central 2, Highland 1
Diercks was the Bulldogs’ top all-around performer as she led the team in kills (10), aces (six) and block assists (three). She also chipped in four digs.
Kimmle also had a strong all-around match with six kills, eight digs and one block assist.
Leading Highland in assists was Vidmar with 21 while Ramsey ranked first in digs with 12. Vidmar also added seven digs, one ace and one block assist. Ramsey also had two kills and one ace.
Also chalking up numbers for HHS were Sands with 10 digs, three kills and one block assist; Nyquist with 10 digs and one setting assist; and Mesle with one kill.