HUTCHINSON — The Newton High School volleyball team showed some weaknesses early, but got stronger as the day went on, finishing 5-1 overall and in fifth play at the 16-team Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail pre-season classic Saturday at the Salt Hawk Activity Center.
In the preliminary pool, Newton beat Maize South 25-23, 28-26; lost to Goddard 25-21, 25-20; and beat Hutchinson 25-11.
Newton swept the pool of second-place teams, beating Derby 21-25, 25-18, 25-14; Andover Central 25-16, 25-13; and McPherson 22-25, 25-20, 25-18.
Maize, Andover and Goddard tied for first at 2-1 in the first-place pool and 5-1 overall.
Newton struggled with serving and passing early, but improved as the day continued.
“When we played at our best today, we had all our phases on,” Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. “Our serving was on. Our passing was on. That was just crucial. I don’t even think we tapped into how good we can be. Today was a start. We’re learning who will fill in key roles from last year, so of course, it’s going to get better and better. The more confident they get, the more they understand their roles, the better they will get.”
Senior Taylor Antonowich finished the day with 49 kills (3.5 per set) and 92 digs (6.6 per set).
“We just had a lot more control the last couple of matches,” Antonwich said. “We started playing more like a team. We just started talking more and being more energetic.”
Freshman Asha Regier had 30 kills in her debut (2.1 a set), along with 55 digs (3.9 a set).
“I get really nervous, but it got better,” Regier said. “Our energy kept getting more. The students came out. We got a lift from the crowd and that just amplified it. We left everything out there.”
Regier said she played with the high school team for most of the summer, which prepared her for the increased speed of play.
“It’s been hard to adjust, but it’s been nice to have the opportunities to hit,” Regier said. “I think this is a good start.”
The Railers opened against Maize South, falling behind 10-1 in the first set. The Railers needed to burn both time outs to get back in the game, tying it at 18-18. Newton took a 24-22 lead and held on for the win.
Newton fell behind 8-3 in the second set, but came back to take a 12-10 lead. Neither team led by more than two points in the set from that point. Newton missed its first match point and held off two Maize South set points. A Maggie Remsberg tip went down for the match point on Newton’s second attempt.
Antonowich had six kills, followed by Regier with four, and DesiRay Kernal, Remsberg and Kyndal Bacon with three each. Antonowich downed eight blocks, followed by Caroline Barger with six and Kernal with four. Antonowich had 10 digs. Bacon set seven assists.
For Maize South, Laine Washburn had four kills and two downed blocks. Freshman Laural Jones had four kills and a downed block. Skylar Goering had three kills. Gretchen Graham had two kills and a downed block. Jones served six aces, followed by Washburn with two.
Newton didn’t learn its lesson in its second match against Goddard, falling behind 7-2 in the first set. Newton took a time out and gave up four more points. After a second time out, Newton gave up one more point before a Kernal spike ended the run.
Down 18-8, Newton got within two, 23-21, before giving up two points for the set.
In the second set, Newton took a 9-6 lead, but gave up a 6-1 run to force a Railer time out. Newton fell behind 19-13, but fought back to within two before dropping the match.
For Goddard, Sydney Morrow had seven kills. Tarra Parks had five kills. Abby Medbery had three kills. McKenzi Shurley had two kills with a downed block. Jeni Laha and Kade Hackerott each had two kills. Montana Soderberg served four aces. Bailey Dugan, Morrow and Hackerott each had two aces.
Antonowich and Kernal each had six kills, followed by Remsberg with five, Regier with four and Bacon and Barger each with three. Regier served three aces. Antonowich and Barger each downed two blocks. Regier had 16 digs, followed by Antonowich with 15, Kernal with 12 and Bacon with 10. Bacon set 17 assists.
Against Hutchinson, Newton jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first set and was never challenged. Of the 11 points Newton gave up in the set, five were on serving errors.
Newton led 17-8 in the second set. Hutchinson got within six late before Newton was able to put it away.
Antonowich finished with five kills, followed by Remsberg and Barger with four each. Bacon and Regier each had three kills. Remsberg set three aces. Antonowich and Barger each downed two blocks. Regier had 12 digs. Bacon set 13 assists.
For Hutchinson, Morgan Armbrust had eight kills. Aulora Eales had two kills and two downed blocks.
In the second-place pool, Newton trailed 4-0 to Derby in the opening set, but came back to lead 11-6. Derby responded with a 7-2 run, then regained the lead and held on for the set. Derby had four aces and two serving errors in the set. Newton had one ace and four serving errors.
Newton jumped out 6-3 in the second set, but Derby quickly reeled the Railers in and tied the set 10-10. Newton made a run from there and held on to force a third set. Newton had two aces and three serving errors in the set. Derby had no aces and two errors in the set.
Newton jumped out 21-7 in the deciding set. Derby was able to cut into the Railer lead but a Regier spike off the Derby block ended the match.
Antonowich had 14 kills, followed by Regier with five, Kernal with four, Remsberg with four and Bacon with four. Kernal downed two blocks. Antonowich had 21 digs, followed by Kernal with 10. Bacon set 15 assists.
For Derby, Kennedy Brown had six kills and four downed blocks. Freshman Sophie Conner had seven kills. Sydney Niles had five kills and a downed block. Macie Ediger had four kills. Gracyn Reynolds had two kills and two downed blocks. Madison Ediger served three aces.
Newton kept the momentum in the first set against Andover Central, taking a 13-6 lead and holding off a late comeback attempt. Newton had an easier time in the second set, taking a 22-9 lead.
Kernal led Newton with eight kills, followed by Remsberg with seven and Bacon with six. Kernal served three aces and downed five blocks. Bacon had 12 digs, followed by Antonowich with 11. Bacon set 19 assists.
Morgan Herrman and Jacquee Jessop each had five kills and two downed blocks for Andover Central. Freshman Ally Harris had two kills and a downed block.
Against McPherson, Newton trailed 11-5 in the first set. Newton took its final time out of the set trailing 17-8. Newton climbed back to within two points, but McPherson was able to hold on for the set. Newton took a substantial lead in the second set and held off a late McPherson comeback.
Newton jumped out 5-0 in the deciding set. Newton led by as many as eight in the set. A pair of Bacon tips ended the match.
“Our passing got better (in the second set),” Antonowich said. “We played so well in the back row. We played well in that match. We started mixing up our sets. We were able to keep them on their toes.”
Antonowich finished the match with 15 kills and 27 digs, followed by Regier with 10 kills, Kernal and Remsberg with five kills each, Bacon with five kills and Barger with three kills. Remberg downed five blocks, followed by Barger with four. Antonowich served two aces. Kernal had 10 digs. Bacon set 26 assists.
For McPherson, Elle Barrett had 10 kills and a downed block, followed by Andrea Sweat with five kills and three downed blocks and Cassie Cooks with five kills and two downed blocks. Crist served three aces. Michaela Bowers and Cooks each served two aces.
In the second-place pool, Newton was able to withstand blocking from McPherson’s 6-1 Sweat and Derby’s 6-5 Brown.
“That gives us a lot of motivation,” Antonowich said. “We were able to start moving the ball around the block and finding different ways to hit.”
“Kyndal was able to push the sets past the blockers, and we were able to hit down the line,” Dibbens said. “That was a big difference. It all started with the pass and how scrappy with our defense. There were some plays Taylor Antonowich made, and we were able to feed off that emotion.”
Newton gets very little time to gloat over the finish, hosing Salina Central and Garden City in a triangular at 5 p.m. today at Ravenscroft Gym.
“I’m tired right now, but it’s a good tired,” Antonowich said. “I’m excited about Tuesday. It’s our first home game. It’s my first senior home game. Garden City’s going to be good competition, but I think we can beat them.”
“It will be great to have a home match on Tuesday,” Dibbens said. “It’s been a long time since we had a home match on Tuesday. It was a long day, but they put in a lot of time in the off-season to be ready for this.”
Saturday at Hutchinson
Maize def. Valley Center 25-12, 25-20
Andover Central def. Salina Central 25-20, 22-25, 25-14
Maize def. Salina Central 25-18, 25-11
Andover Central def. Valley Center 15-25, 25-20, 25-21
Maize def. Andover Central 25-16, 25-17
Salina Central def. Valley Center 25-23, 26-24
Maize 3-0, Andover Central 2-1, Salina Central 1-2, Valley Center 3-0.
Goddard def. Hutchinson 25-12, 25-13
Newton def. Maize South 25-23, 28-26
Goddard def. Newton 25-21, 25-20
Maize South def. Hutchinson 25-20, 25-16
Goddard def. Maize South 20-25, 25-17, 25-22
Newton def. Hutchinson 25-11, 25-15
Goddard 3-0, Newton 2-1, Maize South 1-2, Hutchinson 0-3.
Goddard Eisenhower def. Derby 11-25, 25-23, 25-19
Salina South def. Liberal 24-26, 25-18, 25-18
Derby def. Salina South 25-16, 25-21
Goddard Eisenhower def. Liberal 26-24, 25-15
Derby def. Liberal 23-25, 25-20, 26-24
Goddard Eisenhower def. Salina South 25-11, 25-13
Goddard Eisenhower 3-0, Derby 2-1, Salina South 1-2, Liberal 0-3.
Andover def. McPherson 25-23, 25-15
Campus def. Dodge City 25-9, 25-11
Andover def. Dodge City 25-17, 25-19
McPherson def. Campus 25-15, 25-12
Andover def. Campus 25-15, 25-18
McPherson def. Dodge City 25-9, 25-16
Andover 3-0, McPherson 2-1, Campus 1-2, Dodge City 0-3.
Goddard def. Andover 25-21, 26-24
Maize def. Goddard Eisenhower 25-23, 25-16
Andover def. Maize 25-22, 25-15
Goddard def. Goddard Eisenhower 25-9, 25-20
Andover def. Goddard Eisenhower 25-8, 25-20
Maize def. Goddard 25-20, 25-19
1. (tie) Andover 2-1, Goddard 2-1, Maize 2-1, Goddard Eisenhower 0-3.
McPherson def. Andover Central 25-11, 25-23
Newton def. Derby 21-25, 25-18, 25-14
Newton def. Andover Central 25-16, 25-13
McPherson def. Derby 25-18, 25-20
Andover Central def. Derby 25-19, 25-22
Newton def. McPherson 22-25, 25-20, 25-18
5. Newton 3-0, 6. McPherson 2-1, 7. Andover Central 1-2, 8. Derby 0-3.
Campus def. Salina Central 25-14, 25-xx
Maize South def. Salina South 25-14, 25-16
Salina South def. Campus 25-23, 25-14
Maize South def. Salina Central 25-14, 25-11
Maize South def. Campus 25-13, 25-18
Salina South def. Salina Central 25-17, 23-25, 26-24
9. Maize South 3-0, 10. Salina South 2-1, 11. Campus 1-2, 12. Salina Central 0-3.
Liberal def. Hutchinson 25-23, 11-25, 25-15
Valley Center def. Dodge City 25-23, 25-13
Valley Center def. Liberal 26-24, 25-16
Hutchinson def. Dodge City 25-8, 25-21
Liberal def. Dodge City 25-18, 26-24
Valley Center def. Hutchinson 25-15, 26-24
13. Valley Center 3-0, 14. Liberal 2-1, 15. Hutchinson 1-2, 16. Dodge City 0-3.