PLEASANT HILL — Newton’s Cardinal hadn’t shaken off the emotion of Tuesday Little Hawkeye Conference showdown with Pella and they paid the price on Thursday.
“It appeared that we didn’t have time to recharge after the emotional match Tuesday. We played well at times, but couldn’t push through to get the win,” said Cardinal head coach Kim Florke, after the Cardinals dropped their final regular-season match to host Southeast Polk.
The Rams defeated the Cardinals, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23.
Newton finished 26-12 in regular-season action, which is a NHS record for single-season match wins. The Cardinals won their first-ever Little Hawkeye Conference championship Thursday night at home. This is the eighth year for Newton in the LHC.
The Cardinals moved up to No. 12 in the final Class 4A volleyball rankings, which came out Thursday. They have earned a first-round bye in the 4A, Region 4 tournament.
Next Thursday, Oct. 31, Newton hosts the winner of 14th-ranked Adel-DeSoto-Minburn and Grinnell, who play Monday.
Against Southeast Polk, Michaela Bleeker went 33-of-38 on net attacks with 14 kills. She also was 13-of-14 on sets with six assists. Bleeker came up with 13 digs. She was 7-of-8 serving with one ace serve.
Holly Vander Pol was perfect at the service line, 18-of-18. She delivered five kills at the net, going 13-of-17 on attacks, plus she had seven digs. Amber Karsten provided five kills, two set assists and four digs. Jennifer Ventling had four kills, one set assist and two digs. Ventling and Karsten each had a block assist.
“I thought Michaela really played well tonight in all areas. We served well and passed pretty well. The emotion just wasn’t there,” Florke said.
Bailey Beaderstadt was a perfect 12-of-12 serving with one ace. She had three kills, one set assist and one dig. Kacy Cazett made three digs.
Megan Pressgrove put up 19 set assists, going 49-of-56 setting the ball. Pressgrove also had four kills and five digs.
“We will regroup and get some much deserved rest this weekend, and come back on Monday to get back to work,” Florke said. “We have one more goal in mind, and this loss will not deter us from working and being focused on that goal.”
That goal is a state tournament berth.