The Newton High School volleyball team came back after a long hiatus with a pair of wins in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division I play in the team's home opener at Ravenscroft Gym.
Newton downed Salina South 25-12, 25-20; and Campus 25-17, 25-14. Campus beat Salina South 25-21, 25-21.
"We're focusing on our game and being on our home court and not necessarily being concerned with what the other team is doing," Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. "We just wanted to do what we could do. We were working on speeding up our offense. I think we did, especially in the first set against Salina South and there were moments of it against Campus. For us to go into post-season and into the tournaments we have coming up, I want to see us play a little bit faster. We have some amazing hitters, but I wanted us to try to use some different options."
Newton improves to 10-0, 3-0 in league play. The Railers have a tough stretch coming up with the Maize Invitational Saturday, a triangular at Maize with Salina South Tuesday and the Newton Invitational Sept. 22.
"There's going to be a lot of ranked teams that we will go up against, but these girls seem to like to rise to the challenge. They play their best when we're going up against really good teams, so I'm excited about the tough stretch."
Against Salina South, Maggie Remsberg had seven kills, followed by Asha Regier with six. Regier served two aces. DesiRay Kernal downed six blocks. Kernal had 16 digs, followed by Remsberg with 15 and Regier with 10. Marah Zenner set 19 assists.
Against Campus, Remsberg had 10 kills, followed by Regier with seven. Zenner served three aces. Regier had 10 digs. Zenner set 21 assists.
"There's a lot of energy on our team," Remsberg said. "We play together really well. We move together. Once we get rolling, it's pretty hard to stop us."
Newton went from unranked in the Class 5A coaches poll in the pre-season to fourth in the second poll of the season.
"We figured when we won that first tournament that teams would come after us," Remsberg said. "We wanted to prove a point. Now we have to continue to play hard. We were a little rusty in some areas, but we'll work on that."
Remsberg said she played some beach volleyball in the summer with former teammate Taylor Antonowich, now at Washburn. She said she'll decide on a college in the coming months. She said she expects to compete in track in college.
"I did compete with Taylor in two tournaments," Remsberg said. "We didn't compete at nationals this year. She started doing college stuff. That was a good run. ... Getting to state is our biggest goal for this year. It's a challenge. Each year, we rose to it. We lost seniors each year, but we all believe in each other."