East, North coaches join forces to form volleyball club

Columbus East and Columbus North are rivals in every sport, and that certainly is the case in volleyball.

But now, the East and North coaches are merging to form one feeder program. The Columbus Volleyball Club is in the development stages.

“We’re trying to get a little consistency throughout Columbus and making volleyball in Columbus more competitive,” North coach Caitlin Greiner said. “We’re in the very early stages about where we’re going to take the club and what we’re going to do, but we feel like by coming together, it’s a very good opportunity for the girls in our area to become involved and make Columbus a powerhouse for volleyball.”

Greiner, a former East standout, formed the Columbus North Volleyball Club shortly after taking over as Bull Dogs coach in 2012.

Olympians head coach Stacie Pagnard and assistant Terry Sweasy were going to start their own feeder program, and Greiner met with them about joining forces.

“We thought about, ‘How can we still be two competitive coaches with two volleyball programs and still be moms and wives,'” Pagnard said. “We’re going to combine our powers and do it together for the betterment of our kids and our community and our sport.”

The Columbus Volleyball Club will be for third- through eighth-graders. Faith Wilder-Newland and her husband Dave Newland, who have coached those ages in the East Columbus Volleyball Club, now will have freshman and sophomore teams.

The coaches have been in communication with the high schools and middle schools in Columbus and will have four schools where they can train. Pagnard said that will be important for the community since some players travel to Louisville, Indianapolis and even Muncie to play club volleyball.

“We thought we could become more of a force in the club volleyball world if we came together,” Pagnard said. “We would love someday to be big enough to have high school kids, but with Caitlin and I being head coaches, we can’t coach our kids (in the offseason). Right now, we’re just going to keep it more of a feeder program.”

If you go

Columbus Volleyball Academy coaches Caitlin Greiner, Stacie Pagnard and Terry Sweasy plan to meet with middle school players at the Central vs. Northside game on Thursday at Columbus East High School.

Volleyball players from St. Bartholomew, St. Peter’s and White Creek Lutheran can contact Greiner at columbus.north.vb@gmail.com, Pagnard at pagnards@bcsc.k12.in.us or Sweasy at terrysweasy@comcast.net.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.