COLUMBIA CITY — It’s a situation that might have played out differently a season ago.
Quickly up two games, Columbia City saw a potential shut out turn against them Tuesday night in a season opening match at home against North Side.
After dropping a 24-20 lead in the third game, the Lady Eagles were put in the same situation in game four. Avoiding an agonizing fifth game, Columbia City used its senior leadership along with the addition of a freshman libero to seal the victory the second time around.
“These seniors have talked about wanting a good season,” said Columbia City head coach Trish Hinen. “I’ve got six seniors and they want it bad. They wanted to start off the season with a win.”
A tight first game took a commanding lead for Columbia City in large part to the Lady Eagles newest addition to the varsity lineup.
Freshman Kalisha Goree took a slim two point lead for Columbia City and turned it into a 16-11 during her serving stretch.
Goree tied Tabi Worden with a team best three aces to go with her team high seven digs from the libero position.
“She could play anywhere,” Hinen noted. “We’re just trying to find out where the best fit is for her and us. She picked up balls tonight that I’m not sure anybody else would have gotten to.”
Columbia City’s lead grew to as much as nine in the first game before closing out a 25-18 win.
In front of their home crowd, the Eagles fought off a slow start to the second game down 0-5. City rallied to tie the game 10-10 before seeing the Redskins close out game two with six consecutive errors.
Winning 25-19 in game two, Columbia City was in line to make it a quick three-game shutout up 24-20 in game three.
After surrendering the final six points of game two, North Side bounced back scoring six in a row to win 26-24 behind the front line attack of Savannah Rachels and Adrian Eguia.
“We’re doing a lot of things well,” Hinen said. “We just got out of our game a little bit. We didn’t play our game and it knocked us back in game three.”
In the same situation a game later, Columbia City stood in line for the win with a match point lead of 24-20.
This time was different, however. The Lady Eagles took control of the game on a kill from Madi Sjahfiedin, block by Paige Moore and tip placed by Maddie Hinen.
It was a hard hit by Hinen that forced a North Side block out of bounds to end the game 25-21.
“I didn’t say much to them after game three,” Hinen noted. “We have great senior leadership and they took it upon themselves because they wanted to win.”
Along with her match point, Hinen led the Lady Eagles in kills for the night with 10. Samara Qureshi posted eight assists while senior Paige Moore was Columbia City’s wall up front with two blocks.