Lady Longhorns volleyball sweeps Heights, Scott City.
By BRETT MARSHALL
HOLCOMB — Whether you're Jennifer Barrett watching her Holcomb Longhorns roll along to a pair of victories or Jordan Dreiling watching her youthful, inexperienced Lady Beavers, volleyball season has its usual ups and downs.
And for much of Tuesday night's triangular with those teams, along with Southwestern Heights, it was apparent just how the 2013 season has been going for the two Great West Activities Conference schools.
Barrett saw her team re-energize itself after a split of two matches last Thursday at Hugoton (a win over Hugoton, a loss to Ulysses) by easily dominating Heights (25-17, 25-9), and then closing out the triangular with a 25-16, 25-7 triumph over Scott City. Dreiling looked for brief, and a few, bright spots in her team's other match, a 25-17, 25-20 loss to Heights in the middle of the evening's competition at the Holcomb High School gymnasium.
It also was Dig Pink Night, where HHS honored and remembered many individuals who have won, and lost, battles with breast cancer. The Longhorns also honored their three seniors — Haley Heydman, Kylee Amos and Madi Taylor — as they were among the ringleaders of another successful night on the floor.
The twin victories leaves the Longhorns with a 19-5 season record, with the Scott City Invitational up next on Saturday. Scott City, meanwhile, has managed just four match wins this season and Dreiling is hoping for more positives when her team hosts the invite this weekend.
"We're off and on, up and down, and that's just how the season's been," Dreiling said of her team. "We've struggled with our rotations and when Bailey (Nickel) and Kelly (Wyckoff), both seniors, aren't on the front row, we struggle. Defensively, we've struggled with our youth and inexperience, and our serves have been horrible most of the season. But we'll have moments where we're playing well, but that's what they are — moments."
Holcomb's Heydman said the loss to Ulysses last week was somewhat of a wake-up call after they had won eight-straight matches.
"That kinda hit us and I think tonight we were more focused," said the 5-foot-9 Heydman, a member of the 2012 Telegram All-Area squad.
Heydman said that the team got off to a slow start in its match with Heights when it was tied at 15-all before going on a 10-2 run to close out the 25-17 first-set win.
"We seem to start off like that (slow) sometimes," Heydman said. "But we got things going after that. I think we're covering better and communicating a lot better than we were early. Our passes started off a little shaky, but I think our serves have continued to get better."
Barrett echoed her senior offensive sparkplug in how the team started the evening's competition.
"It took a little time to get going, and I thought we played much better at the end and showed more energy, more excitement," Barrett said. "Volleyball is a game of momentum and it's just good to bounce back. I thought we played two pretty good sets against Ulysses and just didn't play well in the final one. We were talking better tonight, and I think we're learning what each other can do a lot better now."