Oct. 1, 2011
RICHMOND, Ind. -- It was a big day Saturday (Oct. 1) for the Columbus North volleyball team.
Led by seniors Audrey Lewis, Rachael Miller and Julie Reece, the Bull Dogs reeled off a perfect day to win the Richmond Invitational at 4-0 to improve to 14-11 for the season.
Snapping out of a funk where it had dropped seven of its previous nine matches, CN knocked off Fort Wayne North, Class 3A No. 10 Batesville, host Richmond and Franklin County to capture the championship of the 30th annual event.
Lewis headed the effort with 44 kills, 12 service aces and 28 digs, while classmates Miller and Molly Rinehart added 26 and 24 kills, respectively. Reece paced the back-row defense with 39 digs, while junior Quin Shoultz contributed 27 digs and 90 assists. Rinehart led the front-row defense with seven blocks.
"We've never won this tournament before, and we needed this," Columbus North coach Megan Shaff said, noting that her team took a stand in come-from-behind 2-1 wins over Batesville (17-25, 25-14, 19-17) and Franklin County (20-25, 25-20, 15-7).
"Those are the kind of matches where we haven't been at our best, but the Batesville match in particular -- pulling out Game 3 19-17 -- may have been a turning point for us. We dug our heels in and came up with the win."
The Bull Dogs opened with a 25-17, 25-20 win over Fort Wayne North, Lewis netting 11 kills, Rinehart nine and Miller eight. Shoultz had a team-best 15 digs against the Redskins.
Lewis produced 13 kills, Miller six and sophomore Kelsey Cunningham five in the win against Batesville. Lewis totaled seven digs, while Miller and Reece each had five in the crucial victory.
They followed with a 25-20, 25-17 victory over the host Red Devils -- Lewis netting seven kills and Shoultz five from the setter position. Reece paced the defense with nine digs, while Lewis had five and Shoultz four.
In the final against Franklin County, Lewis knocked down 13 kills, Rinehart 10 and Miller nine. Reece was everywhere in the backcourt with 18 digs, while Lewis had six digs and Shoultz and freshman Karen Wildemann chipped in five digs apiece.
"With two regulars because of SAT testing and a third player missing because of a funeral, younger players stepped up and our team rallied for four great team wins," Shaff said, praising Cunningham, Wildemann and freshman Makinsey Summa. "This was a huge day for us."
Columbus North returns to action at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 4) when it hosts Bloomington South in a Conference Indiana match on Breast Cancer Awareness Night. The Bull Dogs follow with a Senior Night contest at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 6) against Franklin, then compete next Saturday (Oct. 8) in the Columbus East Invitational.