For the third season in a row, the Lady Norsemen defeated the host Panthers of Manteno in the Championship match. Like the previous two seasons, Newark was able to win the 1st place trophy in two straight sets. This year, they outpaced Manteno, enrollment of 664, 25-23, 25-18. The team was led by Madi Malone (Jr) who pounded down 18 kills, served up 7 points, and had 8 digs. Taylor Christian (Jr) had 28 assists, 4 digs, and 1 kill and block. Meggie Scott (Sr) had 12 digs to lead the defense while tossing up 3 assists. Megan Williams (So) slammed down 8 kills to go along with her 2 digs and ace, while Mattie Chapman (Sr) crushed 4 kills while serving up an ace. Naomi Sweeney (Sr) led the team in serving, having 10 in the match including an ace. She also had a kill and a couple of digs.
The tournament started at 8:00 AM at the Manteno High School gym where 8 teams were put into two pools. Including the Manteno pool were Watseka, Flanagan, and Clifton Central. Competing against Newark in their pool were Thornton Fractional North (TF North), IL Lutheran, and Grant Park.
Newark's first match took place at 9:00 AM against the Meteors of TF North (enrollment 1,405). That match featured Scott getting the all-time record dig for Newark High School when the score was 21-4 in the 1st set. Meggie now has 1,273 digs after the completion of Saturday's tournament. You can read about the record here. While Scott was getting her 14 digs in the match, KJ Friestad (So) was crushing down the Christian sets 5 different times. Christian ended the match against the Meteors with 20 assists, 4 digs, and 2 aces. Malone had another well-rounded match with 9 digs, 8 kills, and 3 aces, serving 17 for 17 in the match. The won the match in two straight sets, 25-6, 25-15.
The 11:00 AM match scheduled for Newark was against Illinois Lutheran High School out of Crete. With the multiplier, the Chargers have an enrollment of 220. After a little back and forth, the Lady Norsemen took charge of the first set to defeat their opponents 25-12. IL Lutheran was able to get some nice kills down in the second set, but the onslaught of kills by Malone (9), Williams (7), Chapman (5), and Friestad (4) was too much for the ladies from the River Valley conference and ended up losing 25-16. Sweeney added to the win with 2 kills, an ace and a block, and a team-high 11 digs. Christian tossed up 23 finger-pushes while getting involved with 2 blocks during the match. Friestad (2) and Williams (1) added assisted blocks to the stat-line and Chapman had a solo-block to go along with her match-leading 13 for 13 serves, sneaking in 1 ace.
The last pool-play game, played at 1:00 PM, was against IL Lutheran Conference foe, Grant Park (enrollment 179). According to MaxPreps, Grant Park was ranked #1 in class 1A, just ahead of the Lady Norsemen. If you know anything about MaxPreps ranking, they go off of "strength of schedule" and record, with "strength of schedule" being their highest weight in ranking. Although the girls from Newark weren't aware of this, the Norsemen went out to hunt down the Dragons right off the bat, blitzing them from the start, including a 13 serves streak by Malone, including 4 aces. When the set was over, the Dragons were slayed 25-7. The second set was much more competitive, but still ended Newark scoring 25 before Grant Park was able to get to 20 (25-19). Sweeney once again led the team defensively, having perhaps a career-high 20 digs while hitting down 2 kills and blocking 1. Christian also had a career game with 28 assists and a kill. To go along with Malone's aces, she had a baker's dozen kills and 6 digs. Chapman pounded down 7 kills with no errors while having another solo-block and 3 digs. Scott added to her total with 9 digs and 2 assists while Williams had 5 kills.
Madi Malone, Mattie Chapman, and Taylor Christian were named to the All-Tournament team.
Stats for the Matches
Click here for TF North
Click here for IL Lutheran
Click here for Grant Park
Click here for Manteno
Current Season Totals (8-0): Click here
Newark is now 8-0 for the 2019 season and will play Sandwich at home on Monday night, starting with the 4:30 PM freshmen match. MSW will be covering the varsity match against the visiting Indians of Sandwich.
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