Bull Dogs notch first win of season

The Columbus North volleyball team controlled the match for most of the entirety Thursday night against Shelbyville.

It was enough for the Bull Dogs to pick up their first win of the season with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-16 victory over the Golden Bears.

It’s a big win for North, which flipped the script after getting swept in straight sets by Shelbyville last year.

“Last year, we didn’t show up. This year, we were ready,” North coach Jenna Ortega said. “Give Shelbyville credit, they lost a lot of talent last year with all their seniors, but I think we brought in a younger group and we’re talented. We needed this one tonight. Against Seymour (Tuesday night), we didn’t have all of our girls, so tonight, we got everyone on the court and ran with what we knew what to do.”

In the first set, the Bull Dogs (1-1) went ahead 10-6 until the Golden Bears (1-1) went on a 7-2 run to go ahead 13-12. North then closed out the set with finishing on a 13-4 run.

In the second set, Shelbyville went ahead early 8-3, and still led 16-11. The Bull Dogs finally responded by scoring seven of the next eight points to go ahead 18-17. North eventually got the mini-run needed by going on a 4-1 run to lead 23-20 to eventually go ahead 2-0 in the match.

The Bull Dogs went ahead early 10-5 in the third set. The Golden Bears got in to within 17-14, but North was able to hang on and get the sweep.

“Our back row is top-notch this year,” Ortega said. “We mesh well together, and they’re scrappy. We have that scrappy defense, and that is what really saves us.”

For the game, Kaitlin White had three blocks and five kills, Emma Burns had 13 assists, Reese Edwards added 12 assists, Elaina Penrod finished with three blocks, Emily Stair added 13 digs and Rylie Boezeman and Logan Branstetter had three aces apiece.

“They’ve been so excited since Day 1, they’ve just come together more as a team on and off the court,” Ortega said. “This win proves how much they connect and work well together to move forward. I told them tonight that it’s only up from here. We have so much to prove and this is the year that I’m excited with this group of girls.”