The Highland High School volleyball team captured the Granite City Fall Classic on Saturday to cap off a 5-1-1 week of action.
The Lady Bulldogs started off on Monday, Sept. 11 with their only loss of the week, a hard-fought three-set defeat to host Collinsville by scores of 20-25, 25-15, 23-25.
Highland followed that up by opening its Mississippi Valley Conference season with back-to-back straight-set victories over host Civic Memorial (25-15, 25-9) on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and visiting Triad (25-21, 25-22) on Thursday.
Then on Saturday, the Bulldogs then went 3-0-1 to win the Granite City Fall Classic after posting three successive dominant straight-set wins over Civic Memorial (25-18, 25-12), Piasa Southwestern (25-9, 25-12), Granite City (25-8, 25-20) and splitting with Red Bud (20-25, 25-15).
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In addition to winning the tourney, Highland junior middle hitter Claire Diercks, was named the Granite City All-Tournament Team MVP after pounding down 30 kills. Junior libero Emmy Nyquist joined Diercks on the all-tournament team after racking up 62 digs, including a tournament-high 25 against Civic Memorial
“Winning the Granite City Fall Classic, being named to the All Tournament Team, and receiving the MVP award really means a lot to me,” Diercks said. “I’m glad that all of our hard work and time we put in is starting to show. Coming into today we all knew the lineups were going to be different since Megan Vidmar’s hurt, and we are not able to do the 5-1, but I think that we all really came together and pulled it off really well. We all played together as a team today with a good flow, never gave up and always fought back. When we were down we found ways to get back up with everyone playing a vital role in winning.”
The Lady Bulldogs, who are coached by Katelyn Hagarty, Kristen Torre and Karen Twyford, raised their season record to 11-3-1. Highland is currently 2-0 in the MVC.
HHS wins Granite City tourney
HHS 1, Red Bud 1
After dropping the first set 20-25, the Bulldogs bounced back to drum the Musketeers 25-15.
Diercks showed the way in the comeback victory after logging eight kills, five service aces and two blocks assists.
“When we lost to Red Bud in the first set by five, we knew we could beat them and we had to win the second game, since the winner would be determined by points,” said Diercks. “It was great to see everyone on the team keeping their heads up over the loss and we came back with lots of energy to win the second game to finish first place. Winning the tournament was always the main goal and I’m glad that we accomplished that today with everyone doing their best and lots of encouragement from the coaches.”
Nyquist recorded a match-best 16 digs to go along with three aces while sophomore setter Megan Vidmar handed out 17 assists.
Also contributing key numbers in the match were junior outside hitter Jennessa Kimmle with five kills, nine digs and one ace; senior right-side hitter Megan Sands with three kills, one solo block and one assist; junior outside hitter Megan Ramsey with two kills, six digs and one ace; sophomore middle hitter Sydney Coker with two kills; junior right-side Abby Beyer with two digs; and sophomore Ashley Knackstedt with two assists.
HHS 2, Piasa Southwestern 0
Highland overwhelmed the Piasa Birds with 13 aces.
Kimmle led the offensive attack with six kills to go along with seven digs and two aces. Vidmar served up a team-high five aces to go with five assists and one dig and Ramsey chipped in four aces, four kills and five digs. Nyquist dug up a team-best eight balls to go with one ace and Knackstedt added a team-high 13 assists, four digs and one ace.
Also producing stats for Highland were Diercks with three kills and four digs; Coker with three kills and one solo block; Sands with two kills and one solo block.
HHS 2, Granite City 0
Diercks hit double figures in kills with 10 and also had one solo block. Nyquist and Kimmle shared match-high honors in digs with 13 apiece. Nyquist also was tops with four aces and had four assists while Kimmle also supplied five killls. Vidmar chalked up 17 assists to go with three digs, one ace and one block assist.
Also providing numbers for the Bulldogs were Ramsey with five kills, 12 digs and one ace; Knackstedt with three assists; senior middle hitter Morgan Mesle with one kill; and Coker with one block assist.
HHS 2, Civic Memorial 0
The Bulldogs again double digits in aces, this time wiht 10.
Diercks topped her team in kills (nine) and aces (four). She also had two digs. Nyquist piled up 25 digs to go with a pair of aces while Vidmar dished out 15 assists.
Also logging stats for Highland were Ramsey with five kills, nine digs, one ace and one block assist; Kimmle with three kills, six digs and one solo block; Coker with three kills and one block assist; and Knackstedt with seven assists and three digs.
HHS 2, Triad 0
Diercks pounded out a team-high seven digs to go with three digs and two aces while Nyquist registered the most digs with 14 and Vidmar handed out a team-best 22 assists to go with one solo block, one block assist and one ace.
Also numbering key stats for the Bulldogs were Kimmle with six kills, eight digs and three aces; Ramsey with five kills, seven digs and one ace; Sands with three kills, eight digs and one solo block; Mesle with two kills and two digs; and Beyer with one ace and one dig.
HHS 2, Civic Memorial 0
Highland banged out 12 aces.
Kimmle showed the way with eight kills and shared the team lead in aces with three along with Diercks and Ramsey. Kimmle also had four digs.
Vidmar assisted on 18 of the team’s 21 kills and also had two digs and one ace while Nyquist and Ramsey shared top honors in digs with 10 apiece. Ramsey also chalked up five kills and the three aces.
Also producing numbers for HHS were Diercks with five kills, the three aces and one ace; Sands with two kills, seven digs and one solo block; and Mesle with one kill and one dig.
Collinsville 2, HHS 1
Diercks unleashed 10 kills and five aces to go with five digs while Nyquist achieved 20 digs and Vidmar dished out 26 assists to go along with six digs ane one block assist.
Also supplying key stats for the Bulldogs were Kimmle with eight kills, 11 digs and one assist; Ramsey with five kills, 11 digs and one solo block; Sands with four kills and five digs; Beyer with two aces and four digs; and Mesle with one kill and one block assist.