NorthWood ends Columbia City title bid, again

   AKRON — The Columbia City Lady Eagles traveled back to Tippecanoe Valley Saturday in an attempt to take home a sectional title.
   After a quick 3-0 semifinal game against West Noble, the Lady Eagles prepared to face NorthWood in the finals for the second year in a row.
   “They wanted it bad after last year,” Lady Eagle Head Coach Trish Hinen said.
   Last year Columbia City fell to NorthWood and came up with the same results this time around, losing 3-0.
   NorthWood started out the match dominating the Lady Eagles, coming out to a 13-1 lead.
   The first game finished quickly, with the Lady Panthers taking a 25-5 win over Columbia City.
   But the Lady Eagles weren’t going to go down without a fight, taking game two into extra points.
   “The first game I don’t know what got into us, we seemed shell-shocked, but the next games we battled well,” Hinen said.
   The second game started out similar to the first, with the Lady Eagles trailing 8-3.
   After a fire-starting kill by freshman Kalisha Goree, Columbia City began its comeback outscoring the Lady Panthers 6-1 and tying the game at 9-9.
   Goree had seven kills against the Panthers.
   The Lady Eagles carried their momentum far enough to take the lead. However, the Lady Panthers’ height advantage was more than Columbia City could handle.
   “They had a very big height advantage on us,” Hinen said.
   NorthWood had three players over 5’11” and Columbia City’s tallest player is Paige Moore at 5’10.”
   After three strong kills over the fingertips of the Lady Eagle front line, the Lady Panthers held a 29-27 win over Columbia City.
   The Lady Eagles kicked off game three with a 4-3 lead, but NorthWood took over the lead and carried it   to a 25-18 win.
   Junior Samara Qureshi collected 11 assists for the Lady Eagles and senior Hailey Woll had four blocks.
   “We have a lot of seniors that are very good leaders, there’s a whole group of juniors that haven’t had a chance to play a lot of varsity, we’ll be looking to them to step up next season,” Hinen said.
   Senior Maddie Hinen finished out her career with a team high 11 digs.