SEYMOUR — Columbus North volleyball coach Caitie Greiner said she was happy to get a win in the Bull Dogs’ season opener Tuesday evening at Seymour but said there were still areas she’d like to see improvement.
“For a season opener, I’m pleased, but we are going to be working out some kinks,” she said following the team’s 25-16, 25-20, 25-14 sweep.
“It’s very early in the season, and we still have a lot of work to do.”
If the scoreboard Tuesday evening was any indication, the North seems to have a good foundation.
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In the first set, Bull Dogs junior Lily Meyercord started things off with six unanswered points. That prompted Seymour coach Holly Birdsong to take a timeout. Seymour settled in and brought the score to 7-6, and earned the possession back to make it 7-7. North was able to bounce back and regain the lead.
After a few small runs for the Bull Dogs, they found themselves up 20-16. That’s when sophomore Emma Tynan served five straight points to give them the set.
North came out a little flat in the second set, with both teams exchanging points on errors before the Owls’ Makenna Fee and Jessica Blevins combined for 10 points, giving Seymour a 16-8 advantage. That’s where Greiner thinks the team could use a little work on consistency.
“It was very up-and-down volleyball, roller coaster volleyball, and my hope is, as we get more matches under our belt, we kind of level out and play more even keel,” she said. “The girls handled it well.”
But the Bull Dogs fought back behind serves from junior Sophie McKinney. They came back to score eight straight points of their own to take a 17-16 lead.
Both teams exchanged points before the North junior Maddy Sebahar scored the final three points to give the Bull Dogs a two-set advantage.
Greiner said the team displayed mental toughness through the second set, fighting back even though they got off to a rough start and were down by a significant margin.
“They are, I think, a very mentally tough team,” she said. “Our serving gave us a big lift in that. Sophie McKinney went on that run that really gave us that momentum to get over that hump and give us that lead back. The girls never got down and shook off their mistakes well and played one point at a time.”
Greiner said bouncing back during that stretch also is an indication of the team’s overall work ethic.
“I really does attribute to how hard these girls work and how hard they worked over the summer,” she said, adding the team was put in stressful situations during practice over the summer.
In the final set, both teams battled closely to start things off before North pulled away. The Bull Dogs eventually overpowered the Owls in the final frame.
Greiner said she wants to work with the team on playing a more consistent game.
“We just need to play a little more level and not so high and low,” she said. “We don’t want teams to get big leaps like Seymour was able to do with us at times.”
North had a total of five aces, with Meyercord leading with three. Meyercord also led the team in digs with 12. Agustina Fainguersch led the Bull Dogs with 12 kills.