The Highland High School volleyball team did not let its intensity level drop after racing out to commanding leads in both sets as the Lady Bulldogs mauled the visiting Granite City Warriors, 25-14, 25-10, Thursday at HHS.
“I am proud of them for staying aggressive, because it can be hard to go out there and just finish games like that, but they went out there and took care of business,” said Highland first-year coach Katelyn Hagarty, whose team improved to 2-0 on the young season. “We never got out of our sequence.”
For the Bulldogs, it was a sharper all-around performance than their spirited season-opening win over Belleville East nine days earlier. In the opener, Highland committed 12 hitting errors and 11 service errors.
Against Granite City, the hitting errors dropped to seven, and the service errors dipped to six.
“They cleaned up their passing. I thought my hitters were moving their shots around, and I thought we played good defense and had a lot better serving,” Hagarty said. “And we also had a lot fewer errors and a ton of aces, which is great. We gained a lot of momentum.”
HHS recorded 24 kills and 10 aces.
Junior middle hitter Claire Diercks used her booming jump serve to hammer out seven of Highland’s aces, including five in a row to build her team’s lead to a domineering 12-2 in the second set.
Diercks also pounded down eight kills on a scorching .583 hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter Jennessa Kimmle swatted a match-high nine kills, including six in the first game, on a .389 hitting percentage to go along with eight digs. Junior outside hitter Megan Ramsey contributed seven kills — six in the second set — on a strong .438 hitting percentage to go with a match-best nine digs and one ace.
Also for the Bulldogs, sophomore setter Megan Vidmar handed out 23 setting assists, senior right-side hitter Megan Sands had eight digs, and junior libero Emmy Nyquist had seven digs and one ace.