The Highland High volleyball team entered last weekend’s buzz-saw Metro East Classic volleyball tournament seeded last in the 18-team field, but the Lady Bulldogs displayed some quality moments en route to going 2-3 and placing 10th.
Senior Hayley McSparin was named to the Metro East Classic All-Tournament Team after logging 43 kills, highlighted by twice with a dozen kills, and 16 total blocks in the five matches for Highland (12-7), which lost the ninth-place match, 18-25, 23-25, to Quincy.
On Friday, the Lady Bulldogs followed a 17-25, 17-25 tourney-opening loss to Cor Jesu of St. Louis with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-21 victory over Columbia.
Then on Saturday, Highland opened with a dominant 25-10, 25-19 triumph over Mount Pulaski and then going on to drop a 22-25, 25-18, 13-25 match to Incarnate Word before finishing with the tight two-set loss to Quincy in the ninth-place match.
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Ursuline Academy of St. Louis defeated Belleville West 26-24, 25-18 in the championship match.
Parkway West beat Normal in the third-place match while Mater Dei, the only team to beat Ursuline all weekend, defeated Cor Jesu 25-22, 25-13 for fifth place, and Mascoutah bested Incarnate Word 25-18, 25-17 for seventh place.
In the ninth-place match, junior Alex LaPorta topped the Lady Bulldogs with 10 kills to go along with nine digs and two blocks while McSparin contributed six kills, four blocks and two digs.
Other stats compiled by Highland were: junior Madison Wellen with 13 digs, two kills and one block, junior Sarah Beth Wiegman with 11 digs, three kills, senior Sami Beyer with 13 setting assists, one kill and four digs, senior Alyssa Anderson with three blocks, one kill and two digs, freshman Emmy Nyquist with seven digs and junior Megan Frey with six setting assists and one dig.
In the three-set defeat to Incarnate Word, McSparin blasted out 12 kills and added one block and three digs, while LaPorta spiked out nine kills to go with a match-high 20 digs and three blocks.
Also producing numbers for the Lady Bulldogs were: Wiegman with 14 digs, 14 service points, three kills and two aces, Wellen with 14 digs, four kills, seven service points, two aces and one block, Beyer with 17 assists, seven digs, five service points and one kill, junior Hayley Taylor with three blocks, one kill and four digs, Anderson with three digs, one kill and one block, Nyquist with five digs and Frey with one dig.
In the straight-set victory over Mount Pulaski, McSparin showed the way with seven kills and five total blocks. She also had two digs.
Also supplying stats for Highland were: LaPorat with five kills, five digs, four service points, two aces and one block, Wiegman with 12 service points, two aces, seven digs and three kills, Wellen with six digs, two kills, two blocks and three service points, Beyer with nine assists, six digs, 11 service points and one ace, Anderson with two kills, one block, one dig and one assist, Nyquist with five digs and Taylor with one kill and one dig.
In the three-set win over Columbia, McSparin hammered down a dozen kills and five blocks. She also added seven service points, two aces and one dig.
Also recording stats for the Lady Bulldogs were: LaPorta with eight kills, 10 digs, three blocks, two service points and one ace, Wellen with eight kills, 10 digs, four blocks and one service points, Wiegman with 12 digs, 10 service points, two aces, three kills and one block, Beyer with 19 assists, nine digs and one service point, one kill, one block, two digs and one service point, Frey with six assists, four digs and one service point and Nyquist with five digs, Anderson with one kill, two blocks, one assist, two digs and one service point and Taylor with one block and one assist.
In the loss to Cor Jesu to open the tournament, LaPorta led the way with eight kills while Wiegman was tops with 11 digs and Beyer ranked first with 18 assists. LaPorta also added two digs and two service points while Wiegman also added six kills and one service point and Beyer also had three digs and one service point.
Also registering numbers for Highland were: McSparin with six kills, one block, three digs, two service points and one ace, Wellen with three kills, five digs and two service points, Anderson with two kills, one dig and one service point, senior Cassie Lamzik with two digs and one assist and Nyquist with two digs.
Prior to the tournament, the Lady Bulldogs split a pair of Mississippi Valley Conference matches to keep its conference record even at 3-3.
On Oct. 1, Highland swept visiting CM 25-8, 25-23. The Lady Bulldogs beat the Eagles all three times this season.
McSparin and LaPorta were top attackers in the match with nine and seven kills, respectively. LaPorta also numbered three blocks, four digs, six service points and two aces while McSparin also logged nine service points, three aces, one block and three digs.
Also amassing stats for the Lady Bulldogs were: Wiegman with seven digs, seven service points, two aces and one kill, Wellen with seven digs, one kill, two blocks, five service points and two aces, Beyer with 12 assists, two digs, two service points and one ace, Anderson with four service points, two digs and one assist and Nyquist with three digs.
In a 19-25, 18-25 loss to Mascoutah on Sept. 29, McSparin ranked first on Highland in several categories, kills (eight), service points (six) and aces (three) while she also tied for tops on the team with two blocks to go with four digs.
Also logging numbers for the Lady Bulldogs were: LaPorta with four kills, eight digs, one block, four service points and two aces, Wiegman with 10 digs, three kills and one assist, Beyer with 17 assists, four digs and one assist, Wellen with two kills, five digs, four service points and one ace, Anderson with one kill, two blocks, two service points and one ace, Nyquist with seven digs and Lamzik with six digs.