Lady Harvesters come back in first set to sweep Highland Park on early Senior Night

The 2021 volleyball senior class from left, Marcee Troxell, Celest Ostercamp, Tynaa Mojica, Shelbi Burrows, Hallie Sieck, Ruth Andrews and Jasmine Martinez. (Photo by John Lee)

The Pampa Lady Harvesters (8-2) hosted the Highland Park Lady Hornets on Tuesday evening for what was an earlier that usual Senior Night. 

“We’re glad they got to have their night. We have seven of them so I wanted to make sure they had their night and got to be celebrated,” Head Coach Kaylee Samulowitz said. 

“They’re such a great group. So many of them have been on varsity for three or four years. They’ve changed this entire program. They’re going to be missed even though we have half the season left.”

After finding themselves behind in their first set, the Lady Harvesters battled back and ended up sweeping the Lady Hornets (26-24, 25-13, 25-12).

Finding themselves down 12-5 at one point in the first set, Pampa battled back with a pair of kills from senior Ruth Andrews to begin closing the gap and pull within two at 14-12.

Later, senior Tynaa Mojica tied the set at 16. The teams traded blows and tied at 24-24. 

Mojica and an error by the Lady Hornets finished the come-back for Pampa and the Lady Harvesters took the first set 26-24.

“The way that they battled back and kept their cool, we’ve talked about that all season: not worry about what’s on the other side of the net, battling back, staying relaxed and playing as a team,” Samulowitz said.

“They really showed that as they came back after being behind by so much to win that set. I’m really proud of them for that because that’s something we’ve talked about for a while.”

The Lady Harvesters were not going to allow history to repeat itself in the second set as they jumped out to a 9-4 with kills from Mojica and sophomore Mikalie Floyd. Mojica added a spike that had some heat on it a few points later and extended Pampa’s lead to 12-4.

Floyd and senior Hallie Sieck added some more points as Pampa continued it’s dominance and led 17-10. Mojica took over the set and led the Lady Harvesters to the 25-13 Set 2 win.

“Her athleticism and intensity (is amazing),” Mojica said. “They couldn’t touch her on the slide tonight. She’s such a great athlete and she’s going to play at the next level. 

“She is going to play at the next level ball for the next four years after that. I’m super-proud of her.”

The Lady Harvesters picked up where they left off in the third set, jumping out to a 6-3 lead with kills from Floyd, Sieck and Mojica. Sophomore Hallie Hawthorne added a pair of kills of her own as Pampa extended their lead to 9-5.

Hawthorne, Mojica and senior Marcee Troxell continued the scoring onslaught during the 11-0 run and Pampa took a commanding 17-5 lead. 

“After we got up in that second set and Highland Park called that timeout, I told them even though we’re up not to let up because all of these points matter to them,” Samulowitz said. “As soon as we came out of that timeout, they played with that same intensity and fight the rest of the match.”

Andrews, Floyd and Sieck finished off the Lady Hornets and Pampa finished the sweep with the 25-12 win.

The Lady Harvesters take a small road trip and will head to Dalhart Saturday followed by Liberal, Kan. on Tuesday before their open date the weekend of Sept. 12.

“Anytime we go to Dalhart they always give us a crazy good game,” Samulowitz said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge and we’re open to get a win Saturday and a win Tuesday and go into our open date feeling good about where we are at. 

“I feel like we are getting better every day they past two games and hopefully we can continue the trajectory with some good vibes going into that break.”

Stat Round-up

Celest Ostercamp had nine digs, three assists; Mikalie Floyd had 12 kills, one assist and 10 digs; Ruth Andrews had one dig and five kills; Shelbi Burrows had three digs; Haley Fossett had six digs; Hallie Hawthorne had four digs; Hallie Sieck had 33 assist, 11 digs and five kills; Tynaa Mojica had 13 kills; Marcee Troxell had seven kills; Jasminie Martinez had two digs.

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