ANDOVER — The Newton High School volleyball team made its final tune-up before the post-season, sweeping a triangular in Andover.
Newton topped seventh-ranked (KVA, Class 5A) Andover 25-20, 26-24; and Campus 25-12, 25-15.
The wins help the Railers clinch the top seed in the Valley Center sub-state pool. The win over Campus gives Newton the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I title outright.
“We played pretty well,” Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. “We were under control most of the night. Early on in the very first set, I didn’t think we played very good defense, but we made an adjustment and switched some people into different positions and that helped us.”
“We knew Andover was going to be tough coming in,” Newton senior Taylor Antonowich said. “They have some good hitters. Campus has some good hitters too. We spent time in practice on trying to stop them. We got good passes with some good sets and that led to some good hits. We didn’t want to play Andover again (at sub-state). We want them to go with Maize. Campus was a memorable match. We worked hard all season. At the beginning of the season, we weren’t sure if we could do it. We have started to put it all together and playing really aggressive.”
“It was a good day,” Newton junior Maggie Remsberg said. “It was really exciting to beat Andover. Now we sent a message. We got a little bit sloppy at time. We let some play go on a little bit long, but we got our kills. We need to work at putting it down right away.”
Newton played a number of long volleys against Andover, which was able to dig up a lot of balls the Railers have put away against other teams. Newton was also able to dig up a number of the Trojans’ harder spikes.
“We changed up our defense a little bit,” Antonowich said.
Against Andover, Newton jumped out 8-3 in the first set. The Trojans took a time out and closed to within one, 9-8. Newton got back out by three, missing several chances to extend the lead. A Railer hitting error put Andover up 18-17, but Newton replied with an 8-3 run capped by a DesiRay Kernal tap down beyond the Trojan defense.
Newton struggled with hitting errors in the second game. Neither team led by more than two points until an Olivia Hessman ace put the Railers down 17-14. Newton responded with a 9-3 run. Again, Andover got back to within one, 23-22. An Andover error got Newton to match point, but the Trojans held off two match-point attempts, tying on a Taylor Swyers ace. A pair of Remsberg kills ended the match.
Antonowich led the Railer attack with 10 kills and a downed block. Asha Regier had five kills. Kyndal Bacon had four kills and a downed block. Remsberg finished with four kills. Caroline Barger had two kills and two downed blocks. Kernal had a kill and two downed blocks.
For Andover, Hessman and Maggie Kretz each had six kills. Mallory Loflin had two kills and a downed block. Isabelle Reynolds and Kendyl Dotson each had two kills.
Against Campus, Newton jumped out 6-0 on three Bacon aces. Campus rallied to get back within one, 10-9, but Newton came back with a 9-0 run. The Railers allowed just three points from there.
Tied 3-3 in the second set, Newton made a 13-3 run, forcing Campus to burn both time outs. Campus was able to score some points late before the Railers ended it.
Antonowich had 10 kills with a downed block to lead Newton. Remsberg had seven kills with a downed block. Regier and Barger each had four kills and a downed block. Kernal had four kills. Bacon served three aces, followed by Remsberg and Antonowich with two each.
For Campus, Camryn Huggans had four kills. Maura Garrison and Tannah Tilley each had three kills.
“We tried to speed up our offense against Campus,” Dibbens said. “Sometimes, you get some errors with that. Campus was serving aggressive.”
Newton ends the regular season 34-6, 11-1 in AV-CTL I play. Newton competes Saturday at the Class 5A sub-state in Valley Center. Pairings are expected today.
“We just have to play with the energy we have all season,” Antonowich said. “We have to pass well and our defense has to be scrappy.”
“I told the girls tonight that I wanted to see the team that will come out on Saturday,” Dibbens said. “Tied 22-22, that would be a good chance to learn how to fight against a good team. We were able to come out with the win tonight.”
Newton def. Andover 25-20, 26-24
Newton def. Campus 25-12, 25-15.