If Jenna Holdmeyer had her way, Columbia College would play Williams Baptist every game.
The Cougars’ 5-foot-6 inch defensive specialist played outsider hitter for Game 3 and had five kills in a 30-10, 30-12, 30-11 victory over the Eagles.
Holdmeyer, a senior, said she knew she would get the chance to play as a hitter against the overmatched Eagles. The most recent time Holdmeyer played as a hitter was against Williams Baptist last season. She was so excited about it that she invited her family from Marthasville for the game and the big family had to take two full cars to Columbia.
“I’m sure we’ll go out and celebrate tonight,” Holdmeyer said.
Cougars coach Melinda Wrye-Washington said Holdmeyer had been requesting all week to switch positions if the team built an early lead on Williams Baptist. But despite Holdmeyer’s height and lack of experience at the position, Wrye-Washington knew Holdmeyer could succeed as a hitter.
“She can start on the outside for most of the teams we play,” Wrye-Washington said.
Sophomore Nancy Sikobe said Holdmeyer was more excited than usual at practice during the week because of the possible opportunity.
“She told us before the game ‘Let’s go play well so I can get the chance to play hitter,’” Sikobe said. “So when coach said before the third game that Jenna was going to play hitter we yelled ‘Yay.’”
Sikobe and Holdmeyer also reversed roles in the third game.
Holdmeyer is usually positioned behind Sikobe and tells her where to hit the ball on a kill attempt. In Game 3, however, it was Sikobe’s turn to direct Holdmeyer where to hit.
“A little bit of payback,” Wrye-Washington said.
Her season debut as an outside hitter didn’t go as planned at first. Holdmeyer’s first two attempts went into the net before she rattled off two in a row.
Holdmeyer replaced sophomore Doris Wefwafwa, who had 10 kills, second to senior Rose Obunaga’s 22 kills.
Holdmeyer said she learned to appreciate the hitting of Wefwawfa, Obunaga and Sikobe a little more after the third game.
“The way they find the open court and just put it down, it’s awesome,” Holdmeyer said.
Holdmeyer might get another chance to celebrate soon. The Cougars’ next game is against Williams Baptist Tuesday in Walnut Ridge, Ark.