It looked like Halloween Night was going to be a treat for the Newton Volleyball team during the Regional championship match against Shelbyville.
The Eagles jumped out to an impressive lead in the first set against Shelbyville. Then things got scary for Newton as their opponents came alive to make a spirited comeback on Oct. 31 during the Class 2A Regional at Robinson.
Both teams showed strong net play in the first set, but the Shelbyville girls kept the ball in the air with many saves and aggressive hits. The Eagles lost the first set 20-25.
Both squads were just as aggressive in the second set, but Shelbyville raced ahead on a flurry of points and Newton could not rally, losing 18-25. There were tears shed by the Newton players with their postseason ending too soon. They advanced to the championship by defeating the Marshall Lions on Oct. 29.
There is much to take pride in with the season record of 28-9, said Newton volleyball head coach Jill Kistner.
"I had five seniors this season that all played major roles on this team. Kelsi Geltz, co-captain, was our libero. Renee Probst was an outside hitter. Brooke Jansen was an outside hitter. Ally Kuhl was our middle hitter/blocker. Maddi Hemrich, co-captain, was our setter. I am very proud of all of them and their dedication to this program," Kistner stated the day after the loss.
She wants the community to remember the many accomplishments of her team during the 2019 season, and how there is a talented group of players returning next fall.
"We had some highlights to our season. We won the St. Anthony Tournament and finished in the Gold Bracket of our other three tournaments. We won the Little Illini Conference for the fifth straight year and never dropped a set. We did not finish the season the way we wanted but we battled to the very end. We have some strong returning players for next season and we are looking forward to a positive and successful future."
The Newton scoring in the title game included:
Aces Hemrich 1 and Probst 1
Kills Jansen 6, Probst 5, Johnson 5, Kuhl 3, Faith Shull 1 and Geltz, 1
Assists Henrich 18 and Shull 1
Digs Geltz 16, Probst 12, Jansen 6, Hemrich 5, Allison Einhorn, 3, Johnson 3, Jacey Parr 3, Lucy Chapman 2 and Kuhl 1