Highland: Sports

Highland grads excel at college football, volleyball

College Football

Farmer helps Huskers stay unbeaten

Nebraska starting right guard Tanner Farmer, a red-shirt sophomore and a 2014 graduate of Highland High School, helped anchor the Cornhuskers’ offensive line that gained 210 rushing yards and 246 yards through the air without allowing a sack in their 24-13 win over host Northwestern.

With its fourth straight victory to open the season, Nebraska climbed five more spots up to No. 15 in the nation in this week’s Associated Press NCAA Football Rankings poll.

College Volleyball

Freshman McSparin rolling for Tide

Alabama freshman middle blocker Hayley McSparin, a 2016 HHS graduate, has proven plenty worthy of being a regular in the rotation for the Crimson Tide volleyball team.

McSparin slammed down a career-high 16 kills with a .414 hitting percentage to help host Alabama win its Southeastern Conference opener in dramatic fashion with a five-set thriller over No. 19 Texas A&M on Thursday by scores of 25-19, 26-24, 22-25, 16-25 and 15-13.

The win was Alabama’s (12-3 overall, 1-1 SEC) seventh over a ranked opponent in program history and its first since defeating Texas A&M on Oct. 31, 2014 in Foster Auditorium.

McSparin currently ranks third on the Tide in kills (110), first in hitting percentage (.348) and second in total blocks (37).

Torre having big senior season for UWF

West Florida senior middle blocker Kathryn Torre, a 2012 HHS grad, has helped the Argonauts reel off seven consecutive victories, including knocking off previously unbeaten Gulf South Conference rival Shorter 3-1 (25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14).

The seven straight wins has lifted No. 22 UWF’s overall record to 9-4 and its GSC mark to a perfect 5-0.

In a recent four-set win (25-15, 30-32, 25-19, 25-14) over Valdosta State on Tuesday of last week, Torre hammered down 17 kills on just 33 attempts for a .455 attack percentage to go along with four blocks.

Next in a four-set win (25-17, 22-25, 25-11, 25-14) over Lee, Torre recorded 12 kills, five blocks and one ace.

Then in the upset of Shorter, Torre registered eight kills and eight blocks.

For the season, Torre ranks first on West Florida in kills (130), first in hitting percentage (.330) and first in total blocks (51).

Middle School Softball

HMS wins Wesclin Regional

The Highland Middle School softball team captured the championship of the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association (SIJHSAA) Class L Wesclin Regional with an 11-0 victory over Carlyle on Friday.

On Thursday in the semifinal, the Lady Bullpups walloped Centralia 11-1. HMS (11-1) advances to compete in the Elite Eight of the SIJHSAA Class L State Softball Tournament to be held this Saturday, Oct. 1, Tuesday, Oct. 4, and Thursday, Oct. 6 at Rotary Park in Centralia.

Highland will open the state tournament against Collinsville in the quarterfinals at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The victor will face the winner of Massac County and Murphysboro in the semifinals on Tuesday at 1 p.m., with a berth in the Class L state title game on the line.

Middle School Baseball

HMS wins own regional title

The Highland Middle School baseball won the SIJHSAA Class L Highland Regional title after blasting Centralia 10-0 on Friday.

On Thursday in the semifinal, the Bullpups routed Carlyle 16-1 to advance to the Elite Eight of the SIJHSAA Class L State Baseball Tournament to be held this Saturday, Oct. 1, Tuesday, Oct. 4, and Thursday, Oct. 6 at Rotary Park in Centralia.

Highland will opend the state tournament against arch rival Triad in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The winner will face the victor of Harrisburg and Carterville in the semifinals on Tuesday at 3 p.m., with a berth in the Class L state title game on the line.

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