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For the Columbus East volleyball team, Tuesday’s match against Seymour was about who could control the pace.
But missed chances in the late sets followed by a beautiful display of blocking by the Class 4A No. 6 Owls hurt the 4A No. 10 Olympians, and East fell 25-19, 21-25, 27-25, 25-18.
The Olympians (8-4) struggled early due to the Owls’ fast-paced offense creating early rallies in the first set.
East coach Faith Wilder-Newland said that the team didn’t create as many opportunities in services as she would’ve wanted.
“We were down a little bit,” Wilder-Newland said. “We didn’t serve as aggressive, and we weren’t executing our serves well.”
The Olympians responded with a strong offensive attack in the second set by controlling the momentum with service points led by senior Carly Robertson, who had nine points.
The offensive push continued for the Olympians in the early part of the third set, but the Owls came back and hit aggressive shots and blocked many opportunities the Olympians created to gain a lead.
“Our game plan was effective,” Wilder-Newland said. “But we just have to be more consistent with our play and be able to communicate with each other.”
Seymour continued its defensive strategy in the final set, barely creating any room for opportunity for the Olympians and pushed the pace to win the final set.
Easd senior Faith Myers, who led the team with 45 assists, said that missed opportunities in the early parts of the match were what needed to be fixed, but she was pleased with the team’s focus late in the match.
“We needed to create opportunities earlier, especially in the first set,” Myers said. “I wasn’t happy that we lost, but I was happy with our improvements.”
Robertson led the Olympians with 14 kills, while freshman Cortney VanLiew had 13. Senior Alexa Husmann-Miller recorded 24 digs, and junior Ashlyn Robbins provided 12. Junior Caitlyn Williams scored two aces.
Seymour coach Angie Lucas said that the team’s strong offensive push early in the match was what kept the team’s pace continuing.
“We had better ball control, which has always been a struggle for us,” Lucas said. “At times we broke down, but when we had control we made big points.”
Lucas also said that the blocking performance by the Owls (19-2) was what kept the team in the match, especially in the final two sets.
“The blocking performance by the team was outstanding,” Lucas said. “Our defense created numerous chances to keep the lead.”
Leading the Seymour offensive attack was senior Hayden Dailey, who hit 23 kills, while senior Megan Kimbley had 13. Senior Taylor Sutton led the defensive pursuit with 30 digs and four assists. Jessica Lucas had two blocks and 53 assists.
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