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Columbus North rolled, rallied and romped past Lawrence Central in varsity volleyball action Tuesday, closing out regular-season play with positive momentum heading into Saturday’s sectional at Bloomington North.
The Bull Dogs put away the Bears 25-21, 25-22, 12-25, 25-15 and sent lone senior Devon Roese off with a final home floor victory.
“This is a nice win heading into sectional,” North coach Caitlin Greiner said. “Now, we can shift our focus on Bloomington South.”
Greiner’s crew opened play in convincing fashion, jumping out to a 5-1 lead behind the power hitting of Makinsey Summa, who finished with 20 kills. The visitors pulled to within 8-7, but key plays by Karen Wildemann and Maliah Howard regained the Dogs’ composure.
Wildemann paced the team with 31 assists, setting up her teammates throughout the evening and also serving big points in North’s key second game.
Lawrence Central controlled the action from the start and held a seemingly comfortable lead late into the battle. But the Bears’ 19-15 advantage suddenly disappeared as the Bull Dogs (12-20) picked up the intensity and turned the momentum their way.
The hosts knotted the action at 20-all and again at 22-all before finally moving ahead after a kill by Janelle Peters. A Lawrence Central error made it 24-22, and then a combined block by Peters and Avery Wendel clinched the game.
Peters and Wendel each finished with 11 kills, while Roese and Alexa Pelley kept the defense fueled with 26 and 20 digs, respectively.
“Everyone had key moments of playing well,” Greiner said. “We came out hot, relaxed too much in the third game, but bounced back with strong play in the fourth.”
The Dogs almost pulled off another big rally in the third game, but fell just shy. They wouldn’t falter in the fourth, though, pulling away from a 7-all tie to quickly bolt in front 14-9. The Bears got to within 17-14, only to watch North close things out with an 8-1 run.
The Bull Dogs will play Bloomington South at 11 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals of the Bloomington North Sectional. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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