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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  •  Newton players sign with Wichita State

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  • Two members of the Newton High School volleyball team signed their names on the line that is dotted, becoming members of the Wichita State University recruiting class for 2013. Seniors Emily Hiebert and Abbie Lehman signed letters of intent to play for the Shockers Thursday at the NHS commons area. “It will be nice to be closer to home,” Lehman said. “I really like the coaches and the girls that play there.” “They have a great program,” Hiebert said. “I like all the coaches and the girls. It’s close to home.” Lehman chose Wichita State over Pittsburg State and Fort Hays State, which both wanted her for basketball. Hiebert said she had other offers, but she was set on playing for Wichita State. “I really love the sport,” Lehman said. “I’m excited to be playing it full time. In college, it’s going to go even faster. I’m going to have to work in the weight room.” “It’s a way faster pace of the game,” Hiebert said. “I’ll have to work on that.” “It’s very, very exciting for our program and for their families,” Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. “It’s been great to watch them improve since their freshmen year, even back to junior high. It’s exciting for Newton High.” Hiebert is a 5-11 hitter and setter, who will play setter in college. Lehman is a 6-2 middle hitter. Both said they may redshirt as freshmen. “They like to run the 5-1,” Hiebert said. “They will have a fifth-year senior setter next year, so I may redshirt my first year.” Hiebert and Lehman led Newton to a 34-11 season this year, finishing 1-2 in pool play at state. The two losses at state came to the eventual state champion St. James Academy and state runner-up Shawnee Heights. The two have led the Railers to state tournament berths in each of their four years, reaching the state finals as juniors. “Just to make it to state four years in a row is pretty special,” Dibbens said. “It says a lot about the talent in our program to be able to do that. (Former NHS and WSU player) Camri’s (Zwiesler) class also did that. Hiebert is a first-team Class 5A all-state selection for the past two seasons. She is first-team All-Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I and was the AV-CTL I most valuable player as a senior. Lehman was a first-team All-AV-CTL I pick and an honorable mention Class 5A all-state pick. “Emily is definitely deserving of (all-state honors),” Dibbens said. “Abbie came along this season and showed what she can do. It’s exciting because only 21 players in 5A get to be on those teams. And 5A is pretty loaded. To have two players on that shows a lot.” “I wish we would have made it to the second day (at state), but we still had an awesome season,” Lehman said. “It was a great season,” Hiebert said. “It was a great way to end my high school career.” Wichita State is 19-7, 12-4 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Shockers are third in the MVC with two matches to play before the conference tournament. “I think they will bring the same level of excitement to college that they brought here,” Dibbens said. “It will be nice to have them close to home where it will be easier to watch them.”  
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