Trying to stay in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I race, the Newton High School volleyball team was handed a setback after a triangular split Tuesday at Ravenscroft Gym.
Newton downed Salina South 25-13, 25-22, and fell to Maize 25-19, 20-25, 25-19.
Maize downed Salina South 26-24, 19-25, 25-11.
"We had such great fight in the second set (against Maize) and we were ready to feed off that in the third set," Newton coach Jamie Dibbens said. "Then when they got the momentum, mentally we had a hard time knocking out of that — especially with our serve receive and playing smooth."
Six South hitting errors in the first set led to a 9-3 Newton lead and a Cougar time out. Newton extended its run to 14-3 and traded points from there.
Newton struggled with errors in the second set, falling behind 16-9. The Railers made a six-point run only to fall back behind by four. Another Railer run tied the set 22-22 to force South’s final time out of the set. Newton scored the three points needed, two on Asha Regier aces, for the match.
Regier finished with 15 kills. Gracie Rains added seven kills. Tegan Livesay and Marah Zenner each had three kills. Livesay downed two blocks.
Regier served three aces. Rains and Lindsey Antonowich each had nine digs. Zenner set 24 assists.
For South, Evie Barth had six kills and a downed block. Brooklyn Needham had four kills. Mariah Janda served a pair of aces.
Newton took a 5-1 lead in the first set against Maize, but gave up a 10-2 run. Newton rallied to tie the set 13-13 only to give up a 6-1 run. The Eagles held on from there.
Down 11-9 in the second set, Newton gave up a 4-0 run and then took a time out.
Down 18-15, Newton rallied for a 6-1 run. Newton added three more points after a Maize time out, two on downed blocks. The Eagles called their last time out and got a point before Rains forced a deciding set with a spike.
Tied 12-12 in the third set, Zenner served two aces, followed by a Regier spike for the biggest lead for either team in the set. Maize took a time out and made a 3-0 run. A pair of Baylee Miller spikes put Maize up 20-18 and forced Newton’s first time out. Maize added another point on the run after a Newton error. The Railers were unable to recover.
"We tried to make some adjustments with our defense and where we put people," Dibbens said. "It worked in the second set. It did not work for us in the third set. Against really good teams, we have to be able to make adjustments as the game goes on. We did (block well) for most of the game, but at crucial times, we didn’t have our block closed. Those were improvements from last Tuesday. We still have to play a full game that way."
Mallorie Koehn led Maize with 15 kills. Miller scored 14 kills. Gracie Kaumeyer downed three blocks. Koehn had 14 digs, followed by Miller with 13. Kaylee Lively set 19 assists, while Kaumeyer set 12.
Regier scored 12 kills and two downed blocks for Newton. Rains posted seven, followed by Lindsey Antonowich with five kills and three downed blocks. Zenner served three aces and set 26 assists. Abby Koontz had 16 digs, followed by Regier with nine.
South jumped out 9-4 in the first set against Maize. The Eagles chipped back in the set, tying it 18-18. Leading 24-22, South gave up a 4-0 run, including a pair of aces. A Miller spike ended the set.
Maize continued its run in the second set, taking a 7-1 lead. South replied with a run of its own, tying the set 11-11. Tied 15-15, South made a 10-4 run to force a deciding set.
Maize jumped out 7-1 in the third set to prompt a Cougar time out. Maize added three more points in the run and went on for the match.
Maize was led by Miller with four kills, Abby Godfrey with eight and Sydney Lentz with seven. Godfrey served six aces, followed by Lively with four. Godfrey downed eight blocks, followed by Lentz with six. Koehn had 12 digs, followed by Kelsey Kuhl with 11. Kaumeyer and Lively each set 11 assists.
For South, Needham posted 11 kills. Lexi Doherty added six kills. Lauren Davison had four kills and two downed blocks. Reese Altman served five aces.
Maize is 15-3, 7-1 in league play. Newton is 11-4, 3-3 in league play. South is 2-10, 0-5 in league play. Newton and South returns to Ravenscroft Gym at 9:30 a.m. Saturday for the Newton Invitational. The two will join Nickerson and McPherson in pool A. Andale, Andover Central, Buhler and Goddard Eisenhower will play in pool B at Chisholm Mlddle School.
Newton def. Salina South 25-13, 25-22
Maize def. Salina South 26-24, 19-25, 25-11
Maize def. Newton 25-19, 20-25, 25-19
Salina South def. Newton 25-27, 25-15, 15-7
Salina South def. Maize 25-20, 25-21
Newton def. Maize 25-21, 25-19