The Tornadoes won Tuesday’s Sandusky Bay Conference Lake division match in four sets, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20 and 25-19 at Norwalk High School.
“The bottom line is we got outhustled. They made adjustments to what our defense was doing and where we weren’t and they picked us apart,” said first-year Norwalk coach Sarah Kipp, whose squad is 1-1.
Columbian started the first set with a 3-0 advantage and led throughout the game. Despite a late rally by Norwalk, the visitors came away with a 25-19 win. Norwalk got it as close as 20-17.
“I think that we didn’t get out of the gate as fast as I wanted to and then we dug ourselves (into) a hole that we couldn’t dig ourselves out of, which is a challenge for anybody,” Kipp said.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the second set for the first 10 points. Norwalk led 17-11 before Columbian went on a 4-0 run. The Truckers won their only set 25-22.
“We put together some blocks and a couple kills and it brought us back in the set. Unfortunately we didn’t finish, so that’s one thing we’re going to work on,” Kipp said.
“The girls fought hard in that set. Defensively we picked up a lot of balls. We were putting our hands on some blocks and so that defensively took care of things so we were able to run an offense.”
Columbian led 13-7 in the third set. Norwalk narrowed the gap to 19-18, but the Tornadoes came out on top 25-20.
“We fought back and we just didn’t finish. We’re looking for some leadership out on the floor and I think that makes a big difference when you’re in tight games,” Kipp said.
Columbian ended the match Tuesday similar to the way it started. Up 4-0 early, the Tornadoes led by as much as 20-14 on the way to the deciding 25-19 win.
“We’re going to work on getting out of the gate faster as well as finishing in tight games,” Kipp said.
Norwalk junior Olivia Ward had 25 assists and 50 sets. She also had 16 digs.
Another junior, Haleigh Skinner, added 15 digs while classmate Lindsey Koenig contributed 14.
Junior Delaney Thomas led the Truckers with eight kills. Carley Bilton, Claire Kelley and Mya Neuberger each had seven.
The Truckers next play at Clyde on Thursday in another SBC Lake division match.