Trailing two sets to one for the first time this season, the South Newton Lady Rebels pulled it together late to close out sets four and five to knock off Seeger, 19-25, 25-15, 22-25, 25-13, 15-10, Tuesday night (Sept. 11) and improve to 21-0 on the year.
“We need competition like this,” said South Newton coach Laura Robins. “Tough games like this will help prepare us for future tough games down the road. We didn’t play our best tonight. We had way too many errors, but I told the girls ‘you know you are a good team when you make a lot of errors like this and you still win.’ You could tell early on that Seeger wanted it more, but the girls responded late. Everyone is out to get us now, and I told the girls they need to play with that intensity every night.”
It was the serving of Kim Hall that helped give South Newton the momentum in the fourth set. With the game tied 6-6, Hall served up seven straight points to giver her team the lead for good, as the Lady Rebels cruised to the 25-13 victory.
In the fifth and decisive set, six different South Newton players recorded kills (Samantha Warren, Maddie Whaley, Leah Schriner, Claire Schuette, Malyah Embery and Hall) as the team claimed a 15-10 win.
Whaley had a huge night for South Newton as she finished with team highs in kills (14), blocks (four), and digs (26).
Also for South Newton, Warren (nine kills, one block, and two digs), Schriner (eight kills, two aces, 12 digs, and 16 assists), Hall (six kills, four aces, one block, seven digs, and 20 assists), Schuette (five kills and four digs), Embery (one kill, one block, and six digs), Elizabeth Garing (22 digs and three assists), and Hayley Warne (two aces and 21 digs).
The five set win over Seeger came just a night after the Lady Rebels knocked off Watseka in five sets 20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 19-25, 15-12.
“Watseka was an extremely tough game,” added Robbins. “They have a very good and really tall team. They also have an extremely good hitter, who at times couldn’t be stopped. But, we were able to power through that and get a huge win for us. I am very proud of this team, because it was a win over a very talented team that also happens to be our rival.”
Whaley led the attack with 17 kills while Schriner added 14 in the victory.
Whaley also added an ace, and 19 digs in the game, while Schriner finished with three aces, 22 digs, and 15 assists.
Also for the Lady Rebels, Warren (seven kills, one ace, two blocks, and three digs), Embery (four kills, and a dig), Hall (one kill, four aces, 11 digs, and 22 assists), Garing (one ace, 22 digs, and four assists), Schuette (one kill, two aces, one block, and three digs), and Warne (one ace and 16 digs).
The Lady Rebels followed with a 3-0 run through their own Stella Gillen Tournament with wins over Rensselaer, Covenant Christian and another tight match with Seeger.
“It is tough two beat a team twice and that is what we had to do in all three games of this tournament,” said Robbins. “Against Seeger, we were really beating ourselves especially in the first set. I am proud on how the girls didn’t give up and kept fighting to get the win. They have been doing that all year.”
South Newton topped Rensselaer 25-18, 25-12 to open up tournament play.
Whaley, Schriner,and Warren all had five kills in the win, while Embery added four. Caring had a team-high 10 digs, and Hall finished with 10 assists.
After dropping the first set to Seeger 25-16, South Newton rallied back to win set two 25-22 to force the deciding set three.
The Lady Rebels fell behind early, 5-1 in the final set, but rallied to tie theme 8-8. South Newton finished off the set with an 8-2 scoring run for the 15-10 win.
In that win, Whaley had 15 kills, two blocks, and 13 digs to pace the Lady Rebel attack. Warren added seven kills and a block, while Shriner led the way with 16 assists.
South Newton finished off the tournament with a 25-21, 25-7 win over Covenant Christian.
Leading the way for South Newton were: Whaley (eight kills, three aces, one dig and one assist), Schriner (seven kills, five digs, and eight assists), Claire Schuette (four kills, four aces, and one dig), Warren (three kills), Hall (three aces, four digs, and four assists), and Garing (one ace, 16 digs, and four assists).
With the tournament win, South Newton improved to 24-0.