HS Volleyball: The Woodlands High School Lady Highlanders Long Battle Against Crusaders
THE WOODLANDS -- After coming off a win against Huntsville in the previous week, The Woodlands Lady Highlanders used their momentum to face the Concordia Lutheran Crusaders at home. The spiking squad came out strong, putting up some good numbers on offense. But in the second half of the set, Concordia started creeping back, turning the game into one that was evenly matched.
The Highlanders struggled with keeping the ball in the court, as well as allowing the ball to literally slip through their fingers and fall on the court too many times. Concordia’s defense made some incredible stops as The Woodlands team tried to increase its lead. The Crusaders and Highlanders were neck and neck throughout the two sets, going back and forth exchanging points and huge rallies.
Coach Terri Wade felt that the challenge to get ahead wasn’t based on the Highlanders’ talents on the court, but instead their ability to keep the pressure on their opponents. “I don’t think it’s the skill we have to perfect, because it’s our momentum that changes throughout the game,” said Wade.
During their tournaments last season, the Lady Highlanders showed dominance in their area. But for this game they seemed off their usual mark. It appeared that they lost focus at times and played like a freshman team, which is unusual for them because they are usually a major powerhouse on the court. Playing two games a week seems like it is starting to take a toll on the girls, which again is unusual considering their usual drive and stamina.
Communication between the team members seems to also have been a factor as the contest continued and the Highlands succumbed to more mistakes. “I think we're really a big momentum team,” Coach Wade said about her squad. 'When we’re not talking, we don’t have the same energy, and we don’t make the amazing plays. Our momentum was up and down, up and down and the past games we fought through that, just trying to keep our momentum.”
Going into the final set, the Highlander and Crusaders were tied at two sets each. They put up a hard battle scoring right away, creating a gap against the Crusaders. The rallies in the game were spectacular, as each team flexed their skills running and diving to keep the ball in play. Concordia was down practically the entire set but started to come back like The Woodlands did in the first set. Eventually, Concordia pulled ahead and eked out a 3-2 victory.
Mistakes and a loss of focus are bad mixtures to such a dominating team. Despite this loss, they are ready for district and can be a top team if they get their mind in the game.