New faces, continued success prominent at Columbus Catholic

The Dons are off to a 10-2 start after falling in the sectional final to end last season.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 4:10 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - It’s been a long few months of waiting for Columbus. Last October, the Dons volleyball team fell in the sectional final to Laona/Wabeno. Since, then, it’s been the waiting game.

“From the day that we lose that playoff game to the beginning of the season, I’m always thinking about volleyball,” said head coach Kat Egle. “I think they are too and we’re always talking about it in the offseason.”

The loss was a double-edged sword. Not only did it leave them on the doorstep of a state trip, but it was the final game for the all-time kills leader at the school, Dorci Walker. The stellar senior finished second in the state in kills last season. However, Walker missed the sectional final with an injury she sustained in the semifinals. Even though her playing career ended that day, she’s still kept her Columbus allegiance intact.

“She’s even here now sometimes,” said Egle. “She comes to practice and she hits at them and cheers them on. and even though she’s graduated, she still has been in the gym a few times with us.”

The impact Walker had over her four years is evident in her former teammates.

“I learned from her so much,” said senior Jenna Kibbel. “Everything that I know, she taught me. She’s made an impact on all the younger girls too.”

“I think that she is just a person that all we look up to and want to work our way up to,” said junior Courtney Sommer. “We just keep going what she started.”

So far, the Dons have kept that winning tradition going. Columbus is off to a 10-2 start in their first 12 matches, including a 6-1 showing at the Menominee Sprawl.

“All these girls that didn’t get as much playing time last year have stepped up incredibly and have played their hearts out,” said Kibbel. “It’s just the beginning.”

It could’ve been easy to speculate how different the team would look this year, missing someone of Walker’s caliber. However, the players were confident in continuing that success, leaning on their team chemistry.

“The team chemistry that we have is immaculate,” said Kibbel. “The girls keep me coming back every year and they make me want to work harder.”

”We really work together as a team,” said Sommer. “Some other teams don’t have that and I think we blend really well together.”

The goals are still set high for the team as a whole, all eager to break through to state. However, their coach doesn’t want them to get too caught up in the end goal along the way.

”Enjoy the moment,” said Egle. “Yes, we want to go to state, but that’s the end goal. We’re going to miss everything in the middle. So every practice, every moment together, every team bonding, just enjoy the moment.”

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