The Newton High School volleyball team is in control of its destiny in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I after a triangular sweep at Ravenscroft Gym.
Newton topped Derby 16-25, 25-21, 25-14; and Hutchinson 25-23, 25-15. Derby downed Hutchinson 25-23, 25-11.
The wins put Newton in sole possession of first place in the league standings.
“We were pretty nervous,” Asha Regier said. “These were really big games. We wanted to move up in the rankings. We knew if we worked hard, we could get these wins. We did nothing but grow this season.”
“We know we are at our best when we play with a lot of energy and emotion,” Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. “We were kind of riding that high a little bit. We had to play with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. There’s people have been counting us out as far as the league goes, and our girls are not backing down. When they all buy in, we’re playing really well.”
Regier put down 28 kills for the Railers in the two matches.
“Me and my setter (Marah Zenner) have been working a lot together,” Regier said. “We play club together and that helps.”
Newton trailed Derby 4-0 in the first set, but quickly got back in it. Newton took a 12-11 lead and gave up another 4-0 run to prompt a Railer time out. Newton gave up two more points after the time out and took its final time out trailing 21-14. Newton managed just two more points.
Newton took a 13-11 lead in the second set, prompting a Panther time out. Derby errors allowed Newton to increase its advantage to 19-14. Derby took its final time out and made a 3-0 run. The Panthers tied the set 19-19. Newton then took a time out and made a 6-2 run, ending the set on a pair of Regier spikes.
Newton fell behind 6-1 in the deciding set. Newton then made a 5-0 run. Newton pressed its advantage to 14-9, forcing the Panthers to burn both times outs in the run. Derby managed just five points the rest of the way. Regier spikes provided the last two points.
“We just needed to get out of our heads,” Regier said. “We lost to Derby the last two times we played them. We didn’t know how hard we had to play, but we gained confidence in ourselves. That’s what did it.”
Regier led Newton with 14 kills, followed by Gracie Rains with 10 and Lindsey Antonowich with six kills and a downed block. Regier and Raines each served two aces.
For Derby, Tatum Boettjer had 12 kills and a downed block. Jalen Keener had eight kills and a downed block. Lexi Pitts had three kills and a downed block. Sydney Nilles and Sophie Connor each had three kills. Nilles, Keener and Dani Sinclair each had two aces.
Newton jumped out 15-11 in the first set against Hutchinson. The Salthawks came back to tie 20-20. Tied 23-23, Regier hit a spike and Lindsey Antonowich downed a block to give Newton the set.
Tied 7-7 in the second set, Newton made a 15-5 run and held on for the sweep.
Regier had 14 kills and two downed blocks for the Railers. Marah Zenner and Rains each had five kills. Lindsey Antonowich had two kills and a downed block. Regier served two aces.
Tina Robertson had nine kills with a downed block for Hutchinson. Colleen Pahe had three kills and two downed blocks. Peyton Allen served two aces.
Hutchinson jumped out 7-2 in the first set against Derby. Down 14-6, Derby climbed back in the set with an 8-1 run. Derby continued its hot streak, taking a 21-18 lead to force the final Hutchinson time out.
The Salthawks tied the set 23-23, but a Keener kill and a downed block for Nilles and Tiggy Colon gave Derby the set.
Hutchinson fell behind 19-6 in the second set and Derby was able to hold on from there.
Debry was led by Keener with eight kills. Connor had four kills and two downed blocks. Nilles had three kills and three downed blocks. Boettjer and Colon each had four kills with a downed block. Pitts had two kills and three downed blocks. Connor, Heather Mills and Keener each served two aces.
Gabbie Posh and Robertson each had four kills and two downed blocks for Hutchinson.
Derby finishes the night 15-6, 7-1 in AV-CTL I play. Hutchinson drops to 11-10, 3-4 in league play
Newton is 15-10, 7-0 in league play. Newton plays Tuesday at Derby with Maize.
“Teams are going to be coming out and playing hard to get us,” Regier said. “There can be no days off. We have to keep working hard.”
“We’ve gotten better and better as the season has gone on,” Dibbens said. “We have to do it on other people’s courts now. This is our senior night. The win over Derby helped a ton. For us to finish at the top, we have to win on their court.”
Newton def. Derby 16-25, 25-21, 25-14
Derby def. Hutchinson 25-23, 25-11
Newton def. Hutchinson 25-23, 25-15
Derby def. Newton 25-15, 25-12
Hutchinson def. Newton 2-0