Highland women’s volleyball take long-awaited victory



Wednesday, September 29, 2021 | 9:48 a.m.

Over the past two weeks, Highland women’s volleyball coach Caroline Bain has been able to sense her team is on the verge of breaking through.

When his players walked into the gym on Thursday night with a confident look in their eyes, it confirmed his belief.

“They just came in and said they wanted to get a home win,” Bain said.

That’s exactly what they did, sweeping Springdale out 3-0 and made history as the first Highlands women’s volleyball team to win a game in a decade.

The program restarted three years ago after a long hiatus. Bain was 20 years old and had just finished her volleyball career with Robert Morris when she was hired. This victory has been a great reward for the collective effort to build from scratch over the past few years.

“We’ve worked so hard to get to this moment, and winning for the first time at Highlands in 10 years is pretty special for these girls,” Bain said. “They have worked to learn volleyball for the past three years and have learned to win as a team. I am so proud of them. Not only did they win (Thursday), but they made school history. They deserve it.”

To put it in perspective, when Bain arrived she inherited a group of girls who for the most part had never played volleyball before.

They just wanted to learn the sport and were working on building a culture at the same time. The motto of the season was “trust the process”.

There were severe growing pains on a climb to try and catch up with much more experienced opponents, but Bain said the attitude within the team was always positive.

Girls on the team watched movies and worked alone outside of daily practices to try to bridge the gap in the experience. After reaping the rewards of a victory, emotions came out onto the court.

“It was pure joy and satisfaction for them to know that their work had led to a tangible result,” Bain said. “There were a lot of tears of joy. The emotion came from the difficult losses they suffered, but every bump in the road we endured was worth it for this moment. (Thursday) was proof that the process is working.

Jocelyn Bielak had eight aces serving for the Golden Rams. Eve Johnson and Chiara Mailoli punctuated the offensive attack with strong passes from passer Cassidy Davis. Mailoli is a foreign exchange student from Italy.

Bain was able to train against his sister, Avery, and his two cousins ​​Reese and Rory Pallone, who play for Burrell this year, which has been a highlight of the season.

Now she has another, seeing her daughters win for the first time and claiming her first victory as a coach.

What was most inspiring for her was seeing the confidence in the other manifest in her team on the pitch.

“I have all the confidence in the world in these girls and I tried to convey that to them so that they would have confidence in them,” Bain said. “You could see they had this (Thursday), which is the most important thing for me. I want them to be confident in everything they do.

After the game, Bain asked the players if they wanted to take a day off, due to the win and the hard work they put in last week. She was greeted with a resounding “No! Of his players.

“They actually wanted to add another practice, so we also have a practice scheduled for Sunday,” Bain said. “These are the kind of kids who want to come back for more. We’re going to use that win and build on our momentum and see where it takes us. “

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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