Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
DURANT - Don't look now but the Columbus volleyball team is in the regional semifinals.
The Wildcats went into Durant on Wednesday night and picked up a win on their opponents home floor. Columbus grinded out the first two sets and dominated the fourth en route to a four-set win (25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 25-11).
'Every player did their job on the court,” said Columbus head coach Lori Beenen. 'The girls had a really good practice on Tuesday and worked on our biggest weaknesses, and I really feel that was a huge help in our win.”
Olivia Carrier paced the Wildcats with 10 kills in the win. Michelle Diaz had five. Sera Vela and Victoria Howell had three each and Jobie Lekwa tallied one. Vela and Lewka each had nine assists in the win.
Columbus had just two blocks on the day, one each by Vela and Carrier. Emma Milder led the defense with 16 digs.
The Wildcats had a nice serving day, going over 90 percent on their serve efficiency. They also had 11 aces over the four sets, including four by Carrier. Milder finished the night with three aces. Howell had two, a nd both Lekwa and Diaz finished with one.
Columbus will go into its regional semifinal against No. 2 Wilton having won five of their last six matches. The Wildcats will take on the Beavers at Durant, the same floor where they won their last match.
Coach Beenen says she thinks this is the last time the Columbus team was in the semifinals since 1995, when the Wildcats made the state tournament. She credited the crowd for showing out for her team.
'I have to give credit to the crowd we had for the last two games,” said Beenen. 'They helped us feel like we had home court advantage.”
Wilton and Columbus will play at 7 p.m. In the other semifinal, VBC will take on No. 14 West Branch at Mediapolis High School. The winners will meet at West Liberty High School for Wednesday's finals.