HUTCHINSON — With a key cog out of the lineup due to injury, the Newton High School volleyball team did what it needed to do to claim a share of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I title Tuesday in a triangular in Hutchinson.
Newton downed Salina Central 25-20, 25-17; and lost to Hutchinson 25-21, 25-1. Hutchinson downed Central 25-13, 25-18.
Newton is 28-7 overall and 9-2 in AV-CTL I play. Hutchinson is 18-13, 7-4 in league play. Newton wins the regular-season series 2-1. Both teams sweep Salina Central, 4-25 overall and 0-11 in league play.
It was Newton’s first loss to Hutchinson in several years.
“It’s one of those things where it’s more mental than anything,” Hutchinson coach Maria Bujanda said. “Newton has a lot of pizzazz. They are a good team, but we are a good team too. I think the league is very tough. That’s volleyball for you. In the past, Newton, Derby and Maize have been in the top of the pack. You are showing with commitment and mental desire, you can do about anything.”
Newton was without leading hitter Asha Regier because of injury.
“(Winning the league) is fine, but it still doesn’t seem like a successful evening,” Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. “We struggled being aggressive. We were overthinking some things. We ran a different lineup, but we ran that lineup Saturday. Our ball control wasn’t great. That meant we couldn’t be aggressive with our swings.”
Dibbens said Regier will probably be back next week.
“Maggie (Remsberg) filled the spot where Asha played and Amanda Dorrell played in Maggie’s spot,” Regier said. “That worked for us in the home tournament when Maggie was injured. I am confident about that lineup. It didn’t have anything to do with the lineup.”
Against Hutchinson, Newton jumped out 10-6, but then gave up a 7-2 run to prompt a Railer time out. Newton fell behind 20-17, but managed to get back within one, 21-20. The Railers then gave up three straight points. An Aulora Eales spike gave Hutchinson the set.
Newton led 5-2 in the second set, but gave up a 7-2 run. Tied 18-18, Newton errors allowed Hutchinson to make a 3-0 run. Newton took a time out, but only managed three more points in the match.
Tina Robinson had seven kills for Hutchinson. Eales finished with four kills and three downed blocks. Peyton Allen and Gabie Posch each had four kills. Morgan Armbrust had three kills and a downed block. Robinson served two aces.
Maggie Remsberg had 11 kills for Newton. DesiRay Kernal had six kills and a downed block. Marah Zenner had three kills and a downed block.
“We pride ourselves on serving,” Bujanda said. “We were able to take them out of their system. We eliminated unforced errors and let the other team make mistakes.”
Neither team had many hitting errors in the match — Newton had eight to six for Hutchinson.
Newton jumped out 7-3 in the first set against Central and the two teams pretty much traded points until the end of the set.
Newton jumped out 13-11 in the second set then made a 10-5 run. A Sydney Fernandez ace ended the set and gave Newton a league title.
Maggie Remsberg led the Railers with 10 kills. DesiRay Kernal had five kills and a downed block. Varsity newcomer Liberty Tegethoff had four kills and a downed block. Lindsey Antonowich had three kills and a downed block. Setter Marah Zenner had three kills. Remsberg and Amanda Dorrell each served two aces.
For Central, Delaney Nash had seven kills, followed by Holly Sanderson with four and Capri Myers and Hampton Williams with three each.
Tied 7-7 in the first set, Hutchinson went on an 8-1 run against Central to force a time out. The Salt Hawks added one more point to the run and went on to win the set.
Tied 12-12 in the second set, Central went on a 4-0 run. Hutchinson took a time out and went on a 9-2 run for the match.
Hutchinson was led by Gabie Posch with four kills and eight downed blocks. Tina Robertson had four kills and three downed blocks. Morgan Armbrust had five kills and two downed blocks. Aulora Eales had three kills and a downed block. Marisa Eldridge and Robertson each served two aces.
For Central, Annie Ewing had four kills. Holly Sanderson had two kills and four downed blocks.
“We started out slow, but were then able to play more consistently,” Bujanda said.
Newton ends the regular season at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Andover with Campus. A win over Campus allows Newton to win the league title outright.
“Andover is very good,” Dibbens said. “I told the girls sub-state seedings don’t matter. It will be seeded by Tuesday. Tuesday night is about us reaching our potential so we can be ready for sub-state.”
Hutchinson hosts Salina South at 5 p.m. Tuesday for Senior Night.
Hutchinson def. Salina Central 25-13, 25-18
Newton def. Salina Central 25-20, 25-17
Hutchinson def. Newton 25-21, 25-21.