The Columbus North volleyball team seized control early on to capture the first set easily, but Bedford North Lawrence did not go away.
The Stars continued to put the pressure on the Bull Dogs. Despite some struggles in the middle of the second and third sets, North was able to close each set out and claim a 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 victory.
“We saw a lot of good teams this past weekend (in the New Albany Invitational), and I think it really helped us in staying mentally focused the entire time,” North coach Caitlin Greiner said. “We took them out of their offense and what they wanted to do.”
With the score tied 6-6 in the first set, the Bull Dogs (12-6) started establishing their rhythm. They outscored the Stars 19-6 to close it out.
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North carried that momentum into the second set, building a 12-7 lead. Bedford then scored seven straight sets to take the a 14-12 lead.
The Bull Dogs made adjustments by having great serving and passing to find the open space to pull back ahead 18-17. North never surrendered from that point forward.
In the third set, the Bull Dogs had the 19-16 lead but the Stars came back to tie the game. But North was able to win the set by scoring six straight points.
“We made a couple of changes and a got a couple more girls involved into the match, which allowed (Bedford) to go on some runs,” Greiner said. “We did not let it affect us too much and we were still able to stay composed and finish out Sets 2 and 3.”
North senior Maliah Howard-Bass said the Bull Dogs’ chemistry did not flow at times.
“Getting balls in and getting the touches and serving aggressively really helped us in the long run getting points and getting the other team out of their system,” Howard-Bass said.
Mady Johnson tallied 31 assists for the Bull Dogs. Mackenzie Rooks recorded 20 digs and two aces. Howard-Bass pounded 10 kills and two blocks. Imani Guy had 13 kills and a block.
Agustina Fainguesch notched nine kills and eight digs. Hannah Weaver had five kills, and Maddy Sebahar finished with six digs, and Katie McAninch added a block.
“Our setter (Johnson) did a god job finding our middles and running a little bit faster offense, which helped us,” Greiner said. “It also allowed to open up the block for our outside hitters to be open, as well.