Olympians sweep new sectional opponent

After playing in a sectional that included Bloomington North and Bloomington South since pretty much the implementation of class sports, Franklin and Whiteland have replaced the two Bloomington schools in Columbus East’s volleyball sectional.

Thursday night, the Olympians had a chance to see one of those new sectional opponents. They opened their home schedule with a 26-24, 25-20, 25-13 victory.

“It’s always good when we can see somebody that we’re going to play in the postseason,” East coach Ellyn McIntosh said. “We know changes will probably me made throughout the season, but it’s definitely great to see our competition and how we stack up against them right now.”

The Olympians, who had opened the season Tuesday with a three-set win at Bloomington North, improved to 2-0.

“We played a little bit inconsistent here, just like we did in Bloomington,” McIntosh said. “But overall, I we’re just getting to know each other a little bit better as a team right now.”

East trailed 7-5 in the first set when it ran off nine consecutive points, the last eight with Maddie Cline at the service line. The Grizzly Cubs (1-1) came back to take leads of 23-22 and 24-23, but the Olympians were able to win three straight points to take the set.

Franklin led 9-7 in the second set before East went on 8-1 run behind the serving of Erin Williams and Chloe Gilley to take control.

The Grizzly Cubs endured a tough break on the penultimate point of the second set when setter Kennedy Urban sprained an ankle. With Urban out of the lineup in the third set, East led from start to finish, capping the victory with a kill by Kimberly Carothers.

“Unfortunately, their setter went down, so they had to throw somebody in there, and we kind took advantage of that,” McIntosh said.

Gabby Dean led the Olympians with 18 kills and four solo and two assist blocks.

“I thought we definitely started slow, but we came together as a team really well and finished that first set, and then I think that really helped us get the momentum going into the second and third,” Dean said. “We played really well as a team. Every game, we’re just getting better and better. Playing together as a team is really helping us, and we’ll just continue to get better playing together.”

Maddie Cline and Chloe Gilley each recorded 11 digs and two aces, and Williams had 35 assists for East. Cline and Caroline Frost each pounded seven kills, Jenna Guse added six kills and four digs, Kenzie Foster notched 10 digs and Williams added six digs.

“I think we played really well,” Cline said. “We have a lot of work to do still, but as a team, I think everybody had a lot of effort. We had a bunch of new players come in that played really well. I just think we have a lot to improve on this season, and I’m excited. I definitely think we worked together very well tonight. We still just have a long way to go.”