Olympians roll to sweep of Cubs

From the opening serve to the final point, the Class 4A No. 8 Columbus East volleyball team dominated Tuesday’s match against Madison, which resulted in 25-11, 25-5, 25-16 victory on senior night.

“They’ve been a huge part of our program, and you can tell that from how the girls react to them and how everyone else reacts to them,” East coach Ellyn McIntosh said about her seniors. “They have big plays on the court and just super-proud and couldn’t be more thankful to coach them the last two years and super-thankful to be a part of what they’re doing for our program.”

Before the game, the Olympians (21-3) honored senior players Cadence Gilley, Reece Whitehead, Katy Jordan and Kaitlyn Carothers and manager Sarah Boggs.

“It was very memorable. It made us very emotional, as well,” Gilley said. “We’ve been playing with each other for so long ever since we were real little, and so being able to play with each other tonight, and getting everybody in, it was a really great experience for everyone.”

Whitehead added, “It’s super-sad. I’m going to miss this team so much. It’s a crazy feeling. I’m really going to miss everybody.”

Playing in only the second match in their newly refurbished gym that was ruined by a June flood, senior night proved to be a happy one for East.

With the win, the Olympians have won 13 of their past 14 matches.

“We’ve come so far this year,” Whitehead said. “At the beginning, we were not that close as a team, and we’ve grown so much as a team together. I think we’re heading in a good direction.”

For East, Gilley finished with 20 digs and six aces. Whitehead had seven kills and four digs, Jordan totaled 28 assists and six digs, Gabby Dean finished with 11 kills and a block assist. Saige Stahl had nine kills, three digs and an ace, and Libby Dippold added seven kills one solo block solo and two assist blocks.

Also for the Olympians, Chloe Gilley finished with six digs and an ace. Maddie Cline and Caroline Frost each had had two kills and an assist block, Kenzie Foster had nine digs, Megan Tracy added three digs, Erin Williams tallied seven assists and Carothers added one kill.

“I’m super-proud of these girls,” McIntosh said. “They come every night ready to play, following our scouting reports, listening to what we have to say as a coaching staff and just coming out here and giving it their best every night, so I can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Next up for the Olympians is a tough home match against one of the top teams in the state in Class 4A No. 5 Roncalli, and then they’ll host their own invitational tournament on Saturday.

East will then take on Bloomington South on Oct. 14 in the Martinsville Sectional.

“The confidence is definitely high, we just all have so much confidence,” Gilley said. “We’re ready to go, and we know we can go so far in the tournament, and we’re really excited to continue that and building up what we’ve been doing.”