The Lady Knights currently sit at 2-7 in District 12-6A contests but are determined to shake up the competition in the second half of the district race.
Heights’ opened district in August being swept by the Lady Grey Wolves at home.
Shoemaker swept the Lady Knights again Tuesday night in Killeen, but Heights looked like a brand new team with hard-fought set coming down to a few crucial points.
The change in Heights comes from working on the basics of the game.
“It may not have been the outcome we wanted,” coach Alina Wilder said following the loss Tuesday night, “but there are so many things that I saw that we worked on, that we’ve grown up on.”
Heights came out in the first set playing fundamental volleyball.
Lady Knights’ senior Samantha Dreibelbis took the lead on the floor, communicating and ensuring that players were in position.
Heights opened up the game with a textbook-form pass from Monique Allen that allowed Makayla Wiggins to set the ball to Catherine Bakken who finished with clean, sharp kill to take the first point of the match.
Passing, communicating and relying on each team member are just a few of the areas Wilder said her team has improved.
“We focused on a lot of passing,” she said. “The mechanics of passing, the mechanics of hitting, the mechanics of your footwork in setting; it took us going all the way back to the fundamentals and I’m glad that it’s showing.”
Despite dropping the first set 25-21 on a serving error, Heights started the second set with blocks from Bakken and Mckayla Flowers.
An ace from Layla Yerry, along with kills from Flowers, Bakken and Dreibelbis, pulled the Lady Knights ahead 11-4.
A play off the net stalled Heights’ momentum as the initial point given to the Lady Knights was overturned after the referees discussed the play.
But Dreibelbis got Heights back in the game as she answered back with a kill.
“(Dreibelbis) has emerged as a leader,” Wilder said. “Haley Brown has emerged as a leader and Flowers has done a really good job of killing balls on that right side and adjusting our setter Yerry.
“We have a couple seniors that have stepped up.”
The Lady Knights battled through to the end of the set but errors and miscommunication on the floor allowed the Lady Grey Wolves to take the win 25-21.
Dreibelbis had an ace, a dig, two assists and three kills in the matchup. Flowers added four kills, five block assists and a solo block that pulled the Lady Knights within four points of Shoemaker in the final set before losing 25-21.
Heights’ seniors are leading the team but Bakken led the Lady Knights across the floor Tuesday.
The sophomore had six kills and five block assists.
“The future is bright,” Wilder said. “We just have a couple that are young and they’re getting out here and playing too.”
The fact that the Lady Knights not only kept up with the Lady Grey Wolves but held the lead and kept the sets close until the very end has Heights ready to take on Killeen at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
“Don’t count us out,” Wilder said. “We’re coming, we’re fighting, we’re still going to get better.
“We’re fighting in practice so it will show out here.”