Grizzly Cubs top Bull Dogs in four

The Columbus North volleyball team opened Thursday’s match against Franklin with high intensity and execution but could not sustain its early success for the entire match.

The Bull Dogs won the first set 25-18 before the Grizzly Cubs took the final three sets 25-20, 25-16, 25-22.

North coach Caitlin Greiner said her players came out in the first set executing everything they worked on all last week in practice.

“We served the ball tough all night, and my setter (Lily Meyercord) did a nice job of running our offense and getting our middles involved,” Greiner said. “I think in the second and third set, Franklin came out and served the ball a little bit tougher. We struggled a little bit on serve-receive, so we weren’t able to run what we wanted to offensively. Then just a few forced errors here and there, and that was kind of Games 2 and 3.”

The Bull Dogs (13-14) stuck around midway through the second set, being down just 17-16 before Franklin (24-13) took off. The Grizzly Cubs created distance by scoring seven consecutive points. North tried to rally back with a four-point run of its own, but Franklin closed the third set by taking six of the final eight points.

The Bull Dogs kept it close for most of the fourth set and came close to pushing it to a fifth. They had a 20-19 lead before the Grizzly Cubs scored four in a row to take a 23-20 lead and proceeded to take the match.

Greiner said she liked the fight she saw out of her players in the last set.

“I was very pleased with the fact that we’ve really been working on, no matter what the score is, continuing to fight and continuing to keep up our intensity,” Greiner said. “I think the entire match tonight, the girls did a nice job of that. Regardless if we were up or down, we still maintained our focus in what we wanted to do, especially in Game 4.”

Maddy Sebahar led North with 35 digs and matched Agustina Fainguersch with two aces. Both Fainguersch and Meyercord ended with 15 digs, and Meyercord recorded 26 assists. Lauryn James pounded 12 kills, while Gabby Genth and Katie McAninch each finished with nine. Fainguersch, James and Meyercord all had two blocks.

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.