Varsity volleyball makes quick work of its cross-town rivals and wins its third straight Battle of the Hills


For the third straight year, the varsity volleyball team took home the title “Queens of the Hills” in a thrilling two-match series versus rivals Forest Hills Eastern and Forest Hills Northern.

To begin the day, the Rangers would start with a big 25-14 win over Northern. The second round of that series, however, was a nail-biter. The Ranger’s depth pushed them through, as FHC escaped in a very close 27-25 win. Senior Brooklyn Conner and junior Sarah Dunn were the x-factors in this match, as they combined for 14 kills, 2 aces, 2 solo blocks, 4 digs, and 6 receptions. Senior Grace Hudkins also showcased her talent throughout each contest by leading the team with 12 total digs.

Head coach Natalie Roelfzema was enthusiastic about some of the improvements she saw in her players yesterday.

“We have standard big hitters (Conner, Shields, Dunn, and Weslow) and great serving passers like Hudkins, but the spot we are really stepping it up is in our setting position,” coach Roelfzema spoke. “We’ve got Averie Zashcak and Roelfzema who are both stepping up in their first years on varsity; they’re doing a nice job mixing up our sets and running our plays, and each game they do it, they are gaining more and more confidence.”

The crowd roared and cheered on as the Rangers first swept through the Hawks in a phenomenal two-game set; FHC took both by scores of 25-16 and 25-18. The ecstatic crowd could not stop cheering while the Rangers made impressive plays left and right. Brooklyn and senior Sophie Shields showed why they are one of the most dominant veteran duos in the state, as they put on quite the show. The killer combo amassed 15 kills, 3 serving aces, 4 solo blocks, 5 digs, and 4 receptions.

Girls who made huge rises in this match were sophomores Avery Weslow and Kadence Roelfzema. Although Avery had been a key part of this team before, her play in that game proved why she is the real deal. Avery notched 6 kills, 1 serving ace, 1 dig, and 4 receptions. On the other hand, Kadence made big plays by setting her team up for success with 12 assists, 2 digs, 1 blocking assist, and 1 serving ace.

Once all was said and done, the girls had gleaming smiles on their faces. It’s one thing to win a crucial tournament, but it’s another thing to win one in front of a substantially large student section. For Grace Hudkins, it meant everything to have a crowd of FHC students cheering for her and her team.

It felt very new and refreshing,” Grace said. “That’s the biggest section I’ve seen yet, and it felt very good to know that the student body supports FHC Volleyball.”

The 19-2 Rangers now get a week of rest before they move to a series with Greenville next Thursday. This much-needed week of rest is essential to the team. However, this does not mean the girls are going to take their next week of practice lightly, especially since they will be starting their inner conference schedule when the action picks up again.

“It really sets the standard for our play, and it gives us something to look forward to,” Brooklyn said.