After a slow start to begin the season, Columbus North took a few steps forward the past couple of weeks with a five-match winning streak and a valiant effort in a loss at Class 3A then-No. 6 Columbus East.
Tuesday night, the Bull Dogs took a little bit of a step back.
Bloomington South never trailed in the first set, then pulled away late in the final two sets to post a 25-15, 25-18, 25-19 Conference Indiana win at North.
“We have to come out stronger the rest of the season,” North coach Jenna Ortega said. “They just gave up way too easily. We just went backwards to Day 1 all over again.”
After dropping the first set, the Bull Dogs (9-18, 1-2) felt behind 6-3 in the second set. They went on a 6-1 run with Emma Burns and Emily Stair at the service line to take a 9-7 lead. But the Panthers regained the lead and went on to take the set.
North led 7-4 and 8-7 in the third set before Bloomington South took the lead for good. The Bull Dogs were with 19-17, but the Panthers were able to finish it off.
Kayla Jones pounded four kills, Reagan Kane recorded 23 assists and Grace Chapman notched 11 digs to lead North. Kane also had eight digs and, along with Sydney Cooper, led the Bull Dogs in serving with four points.
“We had a really good practice (Monday), had lots of energy before the game,” Ortega said. “But we just had nobody step up tonight. Our front row really struggled. I felt like our defense actually got better. We just did not execute at the net.”