Volleyball takes on MIC rival Carmel


Micah Robertson, Staff Writer

Approaching the halfway point of the regular season, the girls volleyball team hopes to improve their 4-2 record heading into their match on the road against MIC rival No. 9 Carmel.

Senior Avery Holubar knows that playing against Carmel, especially in their own gym, will be unlike any other game this season for the Trojans. 

“Carmel is different from any other team because they are our rival, so there’s more of a drive for us to win. They want to win just as badly as we do, so both of us are going to bring energy, and neither of us is going to let up as the match continues,” Holubar said. “Since the game is at Carmel, it is safe to assume that they’re going to have a big student section, which brings them more energy and gives them the potential to get in our heads easier. We just have to push through it and keep them quiet through playing well and controlling the game.”

CG will go up against a tough, veteran-filled Carmel team, which holds a record of 5-1. Carmel, dominating the games right from the start, has swept their opponents 3-0 in four of their six games.  

Junior Malia Schembra-Owen understands that Carmel will be a challenge, and that the keys to success lie in playing all out and relentlessly. 

“I think Carmel definitely has some advantages with size in the middle and skill in the back row, but if we come out and play with the fight in us like at Pike, I truly think we can beat them,” Schembra-Owen said. “We just need to give it our all no matter what and let them know we are there to win and nothing else. This year we definitely have a team of skill and heart, and we will do everything we can to take home the win.”

Ball State-commit and senior leader Katie Egenolf will play a crucial role in Center Grove’s success. Egenolf has four years of varsity experience and hopes to use that to her advantage. Last season, Egenolf recorded 427 kills and 30 total blocks, critical numbers for both offense and defense.

“If we’re continuing to block the other team, they’ll start to get in their own head, which will improve our control of the game,” Egenolf said. “And, if we’re constantly getting a kill or dragging on the rallies, it shows that we can compete with them just as much as they can compete with us, which will bring their overall level of confidence down.”

Senior Ella Brooks has been the top offensive performer for Carmel this season with 43 kills in only 16 sets played, posing a challenge that Center Grove’s defense will face.

Junior Juliana Weems has been at the forefront of the Trojans defense having 37 blocks so far this season. Along with Weems, freshman Reese Dunkle has tallied 28 blocks. 

“We will need to keep an efficient block up on their strong back row attackers and keep them out of system so they can’t run the middle,” Dunkle said.

This will be the Trojan’s second conference game this season, following a five-set-win against Pike last Thursday. Adding to the chance of boosting their conference record, sophomore Sheridan Young recognizes that a victory against their biggest rival, Carmel, will spur the Trojans’ momentum going forward.

“I think a win against Carmel will be a big momentum boost for the team because as everyone knows, Carmel is our biggest rival in sports. Overall, I think it will bring our team closer together by showing us that playing as a team to beat a rival means we can do anything together,” Young said.