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Local Sports

Cardinals break 3-year LHC losing skid

Newton High’s Cardinals celebrate Tuesday’s home victory — 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 27-25 — over visiting Grinnell in Little Hawkeye Conference play. It’s the first conference win for a Newton volleyball team since Sept. 13, 2016.
Newton High’s Cardinals celebrate Tuesday’s home victory — 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 27-25 — over visiting Grinnell in Little Hawkeye Conference play. It’s the first conference win for a Newton volleyball team since Sept. 13, 2016.

Sept. 13, 2016 — that was the last time Newton High’s Cardinal varsity volleyball team netted a regular-season win in Little Hawkeye Conference action. The same two teams were on the Cardinal volleyball court Tuesday.

“I’m extremely excited and so proud of everyone on this team,” senior Madi Amos said after Newton outlasted visiting Grinnell — 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 27-25.

Newton had beaten Grinnell 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 in 2016 regular-season play. The Cardinals notched a 25-17, 13-25, 15-9 win over the Tigers the same year in the LHC tournament.

The Cardinals — combining LHC regular season and tournament play — broke an 0-25 run. It wasn’t easy but the Cardinals stayed after it against a Tiger team that pushed hard.

“We just kept pushing back and we didn’t get in our heads and get down on ourselves,” Amos said. “It feels great.”

Tuesday’s win evened the Cardinals’ LHC mark at 1-1. The Cardinals are 4-2 overall.

“I’ve got goosebumps because the kids needed it, it’s a Little Hawkeye win and it equals the match wins from last year,” Newton head coach Kim Florke said.

“I told them this match might allow them to take off. We’ve seen them do it in practice but in front of a crowd it hadn’t happened. To see them win — win a tight match — is awesome and a step forward.”

Newton jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set. The Cardinals made mistakes which the Tigers capitalized on to win the first set.

The Cardinals trailed 15-14 in the second set when junior Jerrica McGuire served four straight points. Newton held the lead to tie the match up.

Junior Kate Callaghan opened the third set with five consecutive service points. The teams battled throughout the set.

McGuire delivered a kill with Grinnell serving to give Newton the win in the third set. The fourth set was back-and forth and the teams were tied at 25-25.

A kill by Amos, who led the team with 11 for the night, put Newton up 26-25. Senior Mackenzie Baker served the match-winning point.

“We saw tonight when we don’t make mistakes and hurt ourselves, we are a better volleyball team,” Florke said. “The girls took that away and played more aggressively and we have the result we have.”

McGuire had eight kills, junior Kynnedei Terpstra downed seven kills. Kate Callaghan had five kills, but was credited with 32 set assists.

Baker and junior Meg Callaghan each had four kills. Meg Callaghan had one solo block and three assisted blocks. McGuire had one solo and one assisted block. Kate Callaghan and Baker each had two assisted blocks.

Amos and Kate Callaghan had 17 digs while junior Nykole Hernandez had 13. Terpstra made seven digs, McGuire had five digs and junior Lainey Hull had one dig.

Newton was 77-of-91 serving. McGuire rang up four aces followed by Kate Callaghan with three, Terpstra with two and Amos and Baker one ace apiece.

Newton plays on Sept. 17 at Oskaloosa in LHC action.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535
or jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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