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Faith Wilder-Newland remembers her first trip to the state finals as Columbus East’s head volleyball coach.
It was 1992, and Christin Husmann was one of the Olympians’ assistant coaches. Husmann and fellow assistant Sonya Greathouse dressed up as troll dolls for Halloween the week before the state tournament.
“It was hilarious,” Wilder-Newland said.
Husmann, whose daughter is a senior libero for this year’s East squad, and Greathouse, who is still an assistant under Wilder-
Newland, likely won’t be dressing up as troll dolls again this week, but they hope the Olympians have the same success as that 1992 team. East (24-12) tries for a regional title at 7 tonight at Center Grove (21-14).
Alexa Husmann-Miller figures to play a big role for the Olympians, as she has all season. After being a defensive specialist last year, she moved to the libero spot this fall and leads the team in digs.
“It’s a little bit different, but I feel like I have more of a position, making sure that everyone knows where they are and helping communicate on the court,” Husmann-Miller said.
“She talks so well,” Wilder-Newland said. “She communicates with her teammates and is very upbeat. She’s a good leader.”
Physically, Husmann-Miller does the little things and the big things on the court, as well.
What: Columbus East vs. Center Grove volleyball in Class 4A regional
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Center Grove High School
“There were times where she was a little up and down, but my gosh, she does so many wonderful things ... cross-setting, stepping in when Faith (Myers) digs the ball and setting very well and being very solid defensively and on serve reception,” Wilder-Newland said. “She is one of our best servers.”
Her play has been a big key in East’s run to a sectional title in a season where the Olympians have lost three potential starters to injuries and have three freshmen in their rotation.
“We’ve had a lot of bumps in the road, so we’ve had to kind of come together as a team,” Husmann-Miller said. “We have a wide variety. We have young kids, and we have old kids.”
Husmann-Miller’s senior season has gone a little better than her mother’s. After Christin Husmann helped East to a 34-1 record and semi-state final appearance as a junior in 1986, the Olympians didn’t make it out of the sectional in her senior year.
Wilder-Newland and her husband, Dave Newland, were assistant coaches on that team under Yvonne Willhite. Wilder-Newland took over as head coach in 1990, and Christin Husmann came aboard in 1992 after playing collegiately at Georgetown (Ky.).
Christin Husmann stayed with the program until having Alexa a few years later.
“East has always had a phenomenal program,” Christin Husmann said. “I have a lot of pride for East volleyball. Being on the floor and of course coaching. Now my daughter is playing.”
Alexa has scholarship offers from a couple out-of-state schools, but is considering Southern Indiana, Indiana State and Ball State.
“I’m keeping the door open,” she said.
First, she hopes to help lead the Olympians to a regional title.
“We can’t take anyone for granted,” Husmann-Miller said. “It’s anyone’s game when we step on the court. We have to come out and execute and not get on a roller-coaster and stay consistent the whole time.”
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