For a lid-lifter, the Lake Highlands volleyball team’s match against Highland Park on Tuesday was a tad deflating. Lake Highlands lost the season opener 25-20, 25-22 and 25-16 at Highland Park, but came back strong in the second match of the night with a 25-20, 25-23, 26-24 win over Pearce.

"It felt awesome," junior setter Hollyn Adams said. "We definitely wanted that one more than anything."

Adams’ serving was a big key in the win over Pearce, which had defeated LH last week in scrimmages.

"I usually don’t serve like that," Adams said. "But I’ve been practicing."

The Wildcats’ work showed in the opener when LH broke out to a 9-3 lead in the first game against Highland Park. The Scots eventually overtook LH in that game, and in the second game LH held leads of 20-18 and 22-21 before faltering at the end.

Momentum was clearly with Highland Park in the third game. 

"We weren’t putting it together," coach Melissa Christman said. Christman was an assistant at Highland Park the last two seasons before taking over at LH. "We weren’t firing on all cylinders."

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A change of venue, and opponent, proved to be the trick for LH. After playing in the sauna-like main gym, LH took on Pearce in the cooler, brighter auxillary gym at Highland Park.

LH jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first game and kept the pressure on. The Wildcats were up 21-13 in the second game before allowing Pearce to creep back within a point at 24-23. A huge kill by Matalee Reed ended the threat.

Pearce was even stronger in the third game and broke out to an early lead. LH pulled even at 18-all and it was a back-and-forth affair from there. Tied at 24, Rachel Peters served and Rachael Zreet put down the kill to make it 25-24. Reed and Zreet combined on a block to end the match.

"We just had a lot of passion in us," Zreet said. "This was like a rematch. We all wanted this one."

Lake Highlands returns to the highly regarded Duncanville Tournament of Champions on Friday as the defending champs.

"I feel like we’re getting a lot better," said Zreet, a senior outside hitter. "The more we practice the better we get."