Sports

Columbus seniors see volleyball career end

Union photo by Doug Brenneman

Taylor Howell (2) watches a Columbus teammate hit the volleyball in a match earlier this season.
Union photo by Doug Brenneman Taylor Howell (2) watches a Columbus teammate hit the volleyball in a match earlier this season.

IOWA CITY — The Columbus High School volleyball season ended Monday with a 3-0 loss at Iowa City Regina. For seniors Kayla Beenen and Taylor Howell, the loss ends their volleyball careers.

The Wildcats improved with each set but the Regals took the match 25-12, 25-15, 25-20.

Columbus ends its season with a 6-23 record. Regina (7-28) advances to play Hudson (29-7) Thursday in Hudson.

“We couldn’t get a rhythm going in the first set,” Columbus coach Lori Beenen said. “The next two sets we were points for points most of the game. We struggled with one rotation in both sets. We had good serving and our defense was much better in Set 2 and Set 3. We struggled on front row defense a bit.”

Kayla Beenen connected on five kills, five digs and two aces for the Wildcats. Michelle Diaz had two kills, a dig and a block. Victoria Howell produced two kills and two digs. Taylor Howell put up five assists and Emma Milder three. Milder had 10 digs.

Columbus loses two seniors in Beenen and Taylor Howell.

“We will need to replace a setter and a hitter for next year,” Coach Beenen said. “We have some work to do in the off-season, but we will return a majority of our core team.”

Kayla Beenen was a four-year starter for the Wildcats, mainly at middle and left side. The past two years she has played all the way around.

“She has always been a strategic server with a large number of ace serves,” Coach Beenen said. “Kayla is second on the team in digs to our Libero. She has been a team leader and mentor to our younger players.”

Bennen’s future plans are to attend Oklahoma State University to major in Human Nutrition Pre-Dental.

“Taylor has been a three-year starter and four-year varsity player,” the coach said. “She was a varsity defensive specialist her freshman and sophomore year, then became our varsity setter her junior year. She has developed into a server the team can depend on to keep us in the game. Taylor has developed into a team leader and role model through her actions and voice.”

Taylor Howell’s future plans are to attend Iowa State University to major in Animal Science.