Jennings County kept up with Columbus East very early on in Tuesday night’s Hoosier Hills Conference volleyball match.

It did not take long for the Olympians to show why they are the defending conference champions.

East, which is ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, made great passes and were able to finish off the points to win 25-19, 25-16, 25-12.

“It was definitely a great team effort tonight,” junior setter Kendal Williams said. “Our defense gets a lot of big blocks up for us on defense, and our offense comes in to put it away for us.”

The Panthers (1-7, 0-3) played well to start and were only down 10-9 in the first set, but once the Olympians (8-0, 3-0) scored eight straight points, the wheels began to come off.

“We could not pass the ball at all,” Jennings coach Susan Kinney said. “We didn’t have a pass, so we could not have a hit. We are a little shorthanded up front, so we just don’t have a person who can put the ball away. We need to keep balls in play. Give Columbus East credit — they are a great team.”

After closing out the first set, the Olympians wasted no time jumping out to a 9-4 lead in the second set. The Panthers fought back to get in within 10-8, but that was as close it would get. East went on a 9-4 run to close out the set.

“Our goal going into the match was to get our offense started,” East coach Stacie Pagnard said. “C.J. Clausen did a phenomenal job at making herself become effective and working and driving hard every time. They are dedicated and committed to making themselves better.”

For the Olympians, Williams finished with 33 assists, six digs and three aces. Alaysha Pollert had six digs and three assists, as well. Clausen and Bailey Western each added seven kills and three blocks. Cortney VanLiew finished with 10 kills and six digs. Seena Greiwe served three aces.

For Jennings, Hanah Bertram recorded 10 digs. Emma McPeek had four kills and two blocks. Sydney Brown added two kills. Carissa Kinney finished with seven digs, three kills and 10 assists.

East jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set, which allowed Pagnard to take advantage of her depth to finish out the game.

“We talked all year about how deep we are as a team, especially defensively,” she said. “We didn’t play our libero (in the third set) and did not miss a beat, and that is a testament to how hard these girls work.”