COLUMBIA CITY — Not only did the Columbia City Lady Eagles face a heartbreaking five-game loss to East Noble Thursday night, but six senior Lady Eagles walked off the court for one of the final times at Donald S. Weeks Gymnasium.
“We fought hard, they just fought a little harder,” Lady Eagles head coach Trish Hinen said.
Columbia City had a height disadvantage against East Noble. The Lady Knights had four players stretching over 5’11” while the Lady Eagles tallest player was senior Paige Moore at 5’10.”
Moore picked up seven blocks for the Lady Eagles but it wasn’t an easy task with East Noble towering the net.
“No matter how high we get up on a block, we couldn’t hit over their block,” Hinen said.
East Noble’s 5’11” Casey Allen made the game an uphill battle for the Lady Eagles frontline stuffing down 21 kills, 11 solo blocks and five block assists.
“That’s the best game she’s (Allen) played all year, she was all over the blocks,” East Noble head coach Laurie Bloom said.
Allen wouldn’t let Columbia City pick up any momentum in game one, nearly every good play from the Lady Eagles was shortly followed by a kill from Allen.
The Lady Eagles were unable to pick up a lead of more than four in the first game, losing 22-25.
East Noble carried its momentum until the end of the second game when Columbia City made a strong comeback to finish the game.
After being down 1-6 in the beginning of the second game, the Lady Eagles rallied to finish the game 25-22.
It was a close third game until the Lady Knights scored six consecutive points to end the third game at 25-18.
But again the Lady Eagles battled back and this time with more intensity.
“I told them, if we won tonight we would have a chance at the conference title and that perked them up,” Hinen commented.
Columbia City stole the momentum from the first serve and carried it to a 11-4 lead.
Kalisha Goree picked up several of her 35 digs in game four, leading Columbia City to an easy 25-10 victory.
Also adding to the statistics were Jenee Schneider with three aces and 17 assists, and Maddie Hinen with 12 kills.
The fifth and final game wasn’t such an easy task. The last game was a battle for both teams, with neither team gaining a lead of more than three.
“We knew it would be a tough game,” Bloom noted. “They have some hard hitters and they’re a very scrappy team.”
The final points were long hard-fought volleys, but the Lady Knights came out victorious when a strong block from Allen sent the ball off the hands of the Lady Eagles’ frontline and far out of bounds, leaving the score at 15-12.
The Lady Eagles were handed their first Northeast Hoosier Conference loss of the season, bringing their conference record to 5-1. Columbia City travels to Bellmont and Carroll next week at an attempt to hold on to second-place in the NHC.