Highland volleyball opens with up-and-down performance
By Jeff Gorman
GRANGER — Highland High School volleyball coach Terese Klucar saw the best and worst from her team, all in one day.
The Lady Hornets opened the 2007 with a pair of matches Aug. 25 at Ashland High School. First, Highland battled Ashland to a loss by the score of 25-15, 21-25, 25-23.
“I saw the potential this weekend for our team to go very far,” said Klucar. “I think we came out and played phenomenally.”
Klucar said the officiating got in the Lady Hornets’ way several times against Ashland.
“There were a lot of silly calls,” she said. “One of our players got called by the refs when her headband came off and she wore it around her wrist. We also got a delay of game call when someone on the bench was called for standing on the edge of the court. It all added up.”
By the end of the game, the Lady Hornets had given their coach reason to hope for a successful season.
“That was the most solid that my team has looked,” she said. “Everyone played together and played her part. We lost, but it didn’t feel like a loss.”
Shortly after that game, Highland lost to Parma Valley Forge High School 25-22, 25-18.
“We started very strong, going up 11-0,” said Klucar. “We ended up losing. All of our stats were down. We got quiet. Valley Forge was a scrappy team with a lot of heart. It was very discouraging.
“It was like we had two different teams playing on Saturday,” she added. “Maybe we just got exhausted.”
In the two games, Emily Kirchner led Highland with 19 assists and 18 service points. Other top performers included Kelly McVay (13 kills, eight digs), Stefanie Kafun (12 kills), Megan Doak (12 digs, five kills), Cortney Staruch (10 digs), Emily Gillentine (nine digs) and Alyssa Jaksich (eight kills).
Highland will need to play like it did against Ashland to be competitive in the Suburban League this year.
“Cloverleaf will probably give us the toughest match,” said Klucar. “I saw them over the summer, and they are very solid. Everyone else in the league lost a lot of good girls to graduation.
“We are definitely capable of being at the top,” she added, “if we keep our heads on straight and play with a little heart.”
Highland’s next test will come at Copley High School today, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.