If there was any doubt Class 4A No. 3 Columbus East might be overlooking Columbus North on Thursday night, it was erased at the very beginning.
The Olympians jumped out to an 8-0 lead and cruised to an easy victory in Game 1. The Bull Dogs gave them a battle in the next two games, but East held on for a 25-6, 25-16, 25-18 win.
“I love playing North,” East setter Faith Myers. “It’s a great rivalry game, no matter what, and I thought we did well. I thought we came out really strong, especially in the first game.”
The Olympians (18-2) jumped out to a 7-2 lead in Game 2, but the Bull Dogs (6-15) came back to cut it to 14-12. East then ran off six points in a row to take a 20-12 lead and went on to close out the game.
In Game 3, the Olympians started quick again, bolting to a 12-3 advantage. North got back to within 22-18, but the Olympians scored the final three points of the match.
“It’s been our problem from the start this year, just getting that energy up to attack right away,” North coach Caitlin Greiner said. “We get better with each game, and we get better with each match. It’s just finding that fire to attack early that we lack right now.”
“The second and third game, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t come out and jump on it again,” East coach Faith Wilder-Newland said. “I thought we made more hitting errors than we should have and then maybe weren’t quite as crisp as we had been earlier. Defensively, we weren’t in the places I told them to be, but after that, I thought we played pretty well.”
Sara Bean led the Olympians with 11 kills and two blocks. Myers recorded 33
assists, while Tayler Chandler had two blocks, Carly Robertson added 14 digs and Micayla Speidel served six aces.
“Faith Myers always stands out because she just runs her heiny off to get to balls and to put up good sets, and she doesn’t always get the glory for it,” Wilder-Newland said. “Also, Sara Bean hit well, Micayla Speidel served very well. That jump-float is hard to pass. I thought Alexa had her moments serving well and passed pretty well.”
Quin Shoultz, the Bull Dogs’ lone senior being honored on senior night, led North with 14 assists and two aces. Tessa Krempel pounded eight kills, and Alexa Pelley had eight digs.
“In the second and third games, we saw moments where they were taking what we had worked on all week in the scouting reports and actually executing it,” Greiner said. “They never gave up. They fought the whole time.
“We weren’t supposed to win,” she said. “They’re ranked third in the state. They’re a great team, so the fact that we went out there, and we never gave up and we kept fighting was something I liked to see out of them. It shows a lot of internal motivation, and it shows a lot of dedication on their part. They’re always working hard.”
East won the junior varsity match 25-10, 25-9. Kiersten Warren and Courtney Frost each pounded six kills, while Ashlyn Robbins added 16 assists and four aces and Caitlyn Williams had eight digs and four aces for the Olympians.
East took the freshman match 25-14, 25-11. Katie Mack and Brooke Statler each tallied five kills, while Christina Claycamp recorded 16 assists and Lauren Baugh served three aces.