HS Volleyball: College Park Wins Tense Match on Woodlands’ Home Court
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- With second place in the district up for grabs, the Woodlands Lady Highlanders (21-13) fell to the College Park Lady Cavaliers (15-6) as the district march continues.
The environment felt balanced despite the Lady Highlanders’ home-court advantage. A well-traveled College Park crowd was present to support their team in a tense-filled match.
In an exclusive interview with Woodlands Online, College Park Head Coach Candice Collins spoke on the importance of having cheering fans behind her team.
“I am so proud of the kids for showing up and showing out for our girls,” said Collins. “I think that they do not realize the difference it makes having a student section. Shout out to them because that was awesome.”
The match opened with a minor scoring run from the Lady Cavaliers. College Park rode stellar serving, and Lady Highlander miscues to quickly build a seven-point lead before the Woodlands called a timeout to try and stop the damage.
The Lady Highlanders would gain some points back after the timeout with multiple four-point runs that brought the match closer to a tie. The tie would finally come at 21 apiece, bringing a timeout from College Park to reclaim their lost momentum.
After the timeout, the Lady Cavaliers claimed the set 25-23 by staving off a late Lady Highlander comeback that arrived too late.
Both teams struggled to find their footing in the early second set. There were ties at every single point from the opening until the Lady Cavaliers broke the stalemate at the eight-point mark.
The Lady Cavaliers’ lead never ballooned beyond six points. But, the continual mistakes made by the Lady Highlanders kept College Park in front. For every run that the Woodlands would find themselves on, there would be a miscue that gave easy points to their opponents.
“I tried to keep us intentional in what we were doing,” said Collins. “We had to focus on us and not focus on them to be able to execute while limiting our own errors.”
A timeout from the Woodlands would try to revive the team’s effort, and the team came within two following a short burst of points. College Park would counter with a timeout of their own that cut off the Lady Highlanders’ momentum and secured a 25-20 win that pushed College Park up two sets to none.
With the pressure now fully on them, the Lady Highlanders went on the attack. The Woodlands’ front row began swinging with full power in an attempt to break through the Lady Cavalier blockers. The strategy got off to a solid start, with the Lady Highlanders soaring out to an eight-point lead behind their hitting.
College Park would call a timeout to stop the Woodlands’ oppressive open, but the damage kept coming. The Lady Highlanders would lead by as many as 10 with the game on the line and finished the set with a 25-16 victory to force a fourth.
In need of another set to tie things up, the Woodlands continued to swing with full force. However, College Park’s front row would answer the call with crucial blocks that kept the Lady Highlanders at bay.
“I am super proud of them,” said Collins about her front row. “For us to be as aggressive at the net as they were said a lot about the girls and the heart that we had been trying to execute.”
Six ties fed a palpable tension as the fourth set inched closer to its end. A Woodlands error allowed the Lady Cavaliers to reclaim the lead at 18-17 where they finally made an effort to pull away. The Lady Highlanders hung around to make things close, but a 25-21 win would end their night in defeat as the Lady Cavaliers exited with a 3-1 victory.
“I am extremely proud for believing in themselves,” said Collins on her team’s performance in the clutch.
The Lady Cavaliers must continue their gauntlet of tough opponents by hosting the Oak Ridge Lady War Eagles on Friday while the Woodlands look to rebound against Caney Creek.