Heading into a week of tough matches, the Columbus East volleyball team was tested Tuesday night by Perry Meridian.
The Olympians fared well in the first set of the match, clawing out a victory. The final two set proved to be much more of a battle for East, which prevailed 25-19, 25-23, 25-22.
Keeping the Olympians on their heels throughout the second set, the Falcons used a 5-0 run to tie the score at 14. Perry Meridian then took the lead for the first time since holding a 2-0 advantage in the first set.
Trailing 23-22, East regained its composure to climb back and take the second set.
“We were trying to be more balanced in our attack, and we were trying to spread out the ball,” East coach Stacie Pagnard stated. “We played Cortney VanLiew and Bailey Western out of position tonight in more blocking matchups and playing positions they don’t normally play, and that could be where some of the struggle came from. We gave up some offense because we chose to go defense tonight.”
The third set played out in similar fashion to the second, with the Falcons taking their largest lead of the night at 17-14. After an East timeout, the Olympians came out, settled down and took over offensively, stifling the Falcons and finishing off the match.
“I want them to be battle tested,” Pagnard said. “It doesn’t matter what our record is, it matters how tested we are. The more that we have to battle the more comfortable we will be in battle.”
Kendal Williams dished out 36 assists and served aces for East (12-4). Alaysha Pollert had 13 digs.
“I definitely felt we played more like a team this match than we have in the past,” said VanLiew, who paced the Olympians with 17 kills and two blocks. “We faced adversity with their big hitters, we did what coach asked and then battled back together as a team.”