Heights gets back on track

For 45 minutes on Wednesday, Heights volleyball coach Gary Thomason had what he called a sports psychology session with his players. During that meeting, he reminded his players that they are a good team.

"I think the girls, doubt was starting to creep into their mind," Thomason said.

And that's not a surprise — Heights lost consecutive matches to Kapaun Mount Carmel and Northwest.

Thursday night Heights got back on track, defeating Bishop Carroll 25-22, 25-23. It was Carroll's first loss in City League play.

Heights also defeated South 25-18, 25-19, and so did Carroll, 25-10, 25-13.

"I think it was a matter of us, maybe growing up a little bit," Thomason said. "That's what we talked about after the Northwest, for lack of a better word, debacle, that we had. This is a good team, but we're very immature."

Heights is junior heavy, with only three seniors in Lindsay Moss, Maggie Hans and Kelli Wendt.

But in the victory over Carroll, Heights won in veteran fashion — by finishing strong after trailing late.

Carroll and Heights traded points through Game 1, playing to a 17-all tie before Heights took a 19-17 lead following two Carroll errors.

The Eagles responded with a kill by Nicole Walden — she had five in the match, as did teammates Danika Maggard and Lindsay Oliphant.

With Carroll leading 22-21 after an Oliphant kill, Heights got a sideout on a Maggie Hans kill to tie the score. Carroll had two straight hitting errors before Heights closed it out with a Lindsay Moss kill.

Moss and Hans each had six kills in the match; teammate Crystal Whitten had nine.

"We had how many unforced errors at the wrong time?" Carroll coach Rita Mernagh said. "(Heights) is a good team, and even a few unforced errors against a good team will matter now."

The Eagles took a quick 7-3 lead in the second game after three stuff blocks by Oliphant and Walden. With Carroll leading 14-9, Heights rallied to get within 15-13.

Carroll pulled away again, though, with a 21-15 lead on a Maggard kill that smashed through the block.

The Eagles only scored two more points, though, as Heights dominated at the net with its hitting and blocking.

"I think that we learned a hard lesson tonight — that we have to finish," Mernagh said. "We were up the second game, too. We have to finish what we do."