The Highland High School volleyball team went 6-0 last week to obliterate the the school record of 9-0 to start the season. The Lady Bulldogs ran their perfect mark to a new benchmark of 15-0.
First during the week last week, the Lady Bulldogs breezed through their first two Mississippi Valley Conference combatants, Civic Memorial (25-13, 25-8) on Tuesday and Triad (25-20, 25-15) on Thursday, to start 2-0 in conference play.
Then on Saturday, Highland went 4-0 to repeat as champions of the Granite City Tournament, which is a five-team round-robin event.
HHS swept all four tournament opponents in straight sets to continue its dominance this season. The Bulldogs have only dropped one set — against Waterloo at Carbondale tourney —all season en route to hammering their foes to forge their unblemished 15-0 record.
At the Granite City tourney beat CM (25-21, 25-11), Granite City (25-22, 25-15), Piasa Southwestern (25-9, 25-15) and Red Bud (25-17, 25-22).
Seniors Alex LaPorta, a middle hitter, and Sarah Beth Wiegman, a southpaw strong-side hitter, were both chosen to the Granite City All-Tournament Team. In fact, LaPorta was named the MVP of the entire tournament. She has made the all-tournament team in both tournaments this season after leading HHS to the titles at both Carbondale and Granite City.
In the four matches, LaPorta amassed 30 kills, six total blocks, 35 digs, 19 service points and three service aces.
“We’re just trying to work hard and stay consistent, just trying to get to our peak, which hasn’t come yet,” LaPorta said. “As long as we keep focusing and practicing hard, we’ll get there.”
Wiegman compiled 24 kills, 35 digs, 20 service points and seven aces.
“It’s pretty awesome but we have got to stay humble and can’t get big heads,” Wiegman said about her team’s record-smashing start to the season. “We have been doing good and we just have to stay focused and keep plugging away. This is the closest team I have ever been part of; we’re all super close. There are seven of us seniors and we all get along really well and we set a good example for the younger kids.”
Highland should not have had any problem extending its flawless record to 16-0 Tuesday night at Jersevyille. But the competition gets much tougher for the Bulldogs in their next two matches, Thursday at home against Waterloo and next Tuesday at home against three-time defending conference champion Mascoutah.
“We are definitely super pumped to be 15-0 after this past week,” senior strong-side hitter Madison Wellen said. “We are going to use this momentum to go into this coming week as we have two conference matches including Waterloo which is a game everyone is looking forward to.”
HHS beats Red Bud 25-17, 25-22
Highland had little trouble with the Red Bud Musketeers, who were supposed to be the Bulldogs’ toughest match of the tournament.
LaPorta hammered down a team tournament-best 11 kills while Wiegman and Diercks each pounded out five kills and Wellen chipped in four kills.
Wellen also logged a tournament-high 18 digs to go along with eight service points, two aces and one block, while LaPorta also rung up 15 digs, six service points, one block and one setting assist, and Wiegman also produced nine digs and one service point.
Also jotting down stats for the Bulldogs were: senior setter Megan Frey with 13 setting assists, five digs and three service points; senior setter Sarah Frank with 11 setting assists, five digs and two service points; sophomore libero Emmy Nyquist with eight digs; senior right-side hitter Hayley Taylor with two kills and one dig; senior right-side hitter Amanda Korsmeyer with one block and one dig; and Diercks with one block.
HHS beats Piasa Southwestern 25-9, 25-15
Piasa Southwestern was by far Highland’s easiest match of the tournament.
The Bulldogs registered eight aces, led by Wiegman with four of them to go along with eight service points.
LaPorta and Diercks led the way with six kills each while Wiegman, Taylor and Korsmeyer all had four kills apiece and Wellen put down three kills.
Wellen showed the way with seven digs to go along with four service points and one ace while LaPorta added seven service points, two aces and four digs. Wiegman also supplied six digs and Diercks also had one block and one dig.
Also for Highland, Frey dished out a match-high 15 assists to go with six service points and one ace, while Frank handed out 11 assists and four service points and Nyquist had three digs.
HHS beats Granite City 25-22, 25-15
This was the second time that the Bulldogs swept the Warriors this season.
Diercks was the match’s top attacker with nine kills and LaPorta slammed down six blocks and chalked up a match-best four blocks. LaPorta also had eight digs and two service points and Diercks also had four digs and one ace.
Wellen showed the way with 10 digs to go along with three kills, six service points, one ace and one block. Wiegman also had a big match with five kills, nine digs, three service points and one block.
Also producing numbers for Highland were: Frey with 11 assists, eight digs, nine service points and two aces; Frank with nine assists, five service points and two digs; Nyquist with nine digs; Taylor with two kills, two blocks and one dig; and Korsmeyer with one kill and one assist.
HHS beats CM 25-21, 25-11
It was the second time Highland swept the Eagles in five days.
The southpaw Wiegman slugged a match-topping 10 kills while LaPorta belted out seven kills and Wellen socked six kills.
Wiegman also served out match highs with eight service points and three aces to go with 11 digs.
Wellen dug up a match-topping 13 balls and also added five service points and one ace and LaPorta also added eight digs, four service points, one ace, one block and one assist.
Also contributing in the victory were: Diercks with four kills, seven digs, two blocks, eight service points and one ace; Frey with 16 assists, one dig and one service point; Frey with 11 assists, two digs and three service points, Taylor with three kills and two blocks; Korsmeyer with two kills, two blocks and one dig; and Nyquist with four digs.
HHS beats Triad 25-20, 25-15
The Bulldogs recorded 11 total blocks and had a good balanced attack with five different players registering at least three kills each en route to helping drop their arch rival to a 1-7 record.
Diercks had five kills and two blocks to go with two digs. Wellen and Wiegman each supplied four kills while LaPorta and Korsmeyer each provided three kills.
LaPorta was also tops in digs with 17 and in total blocks with four and she also added five service points and one ace.
Wiegman also chipped in 11 digs, six service points and two aces while Wellen also accounted for nine digs, seven service points, one ace and two blocks.
Additionally, Korsmeyer added two blocks.
Also chipping in for the Bulldogs were: Nyquist with eight digs and one service point; Frey with 10 assists, three service points and one dig; Frank with six assists, six digs and four service points; and Taylor with one kill, one block and one dig.
HHS beats Civic Memorial 25-13, 25-8
In their conference opener, the Bulldogs used 11 aces to help pluck the Eagles.
LaPorta rung up match highs with six kills, four aces two blocks and six service points to go with seven digs.
Wellen contributed nine digs, four kills, six service points and two aces while Taylor added four kills and one dig.
Also supplying numbers for Highland were: Wiegman with six digs, two kills, five service points and one ace; Frey with eight assists, eight service points and two aces; Frank with eight assists, five service points, one ace and ond dig; Diercks with three kills, one block and one ace; Korsmeyer with three kills and one block; and Nyquist with five digs and five service points.