Second verse, same as the first...Newark found themselves in the gold bracket at the Mt. Pulaski Fall Festival and their opponent in the semi-finals was once again the Sabers of St. Thomas More. Last year, St. Thomas finished with a third-place trophy at the IHSA 2A tournament. This year, they reloaded and are making a run in class 3A. One of the girls that made a huge difference for the Sabers was Coach Kelly McClure's sophomore left-handed daughter, Anna. One fan was heard saying, "That lefty was a ton...when she was in the front row and got a set on either pin, there was nothing we could do." In the end, the Sabers repeated their previous year's efforts by defeating the Lady Norsemen, 25-19, 25-23.
Newark fought hard throughout the match, including a great run from the service line by sophomore KJ Friestad. She served up 3 aces in her run and had the Norsemen with the lead. After a quick time-out by McClure, the Sabers jumped back in front to eventually take the set and match. Mattie Chapman had a solid game, hitting .833 (5 kills) while Madi Malone pounded down 11 for the two-set match. Malone, Meggie Scott, Megan Williams. and Cassidy Adams all were perfect from the service line.
After suffering its first loss of the season, the Lady Norsemen didn't have much time to worry about it as the 3rd place game was to be played immediately. After a quick warmup session, Newark took the court against the Hornets of Eureka. Eureka was able to beat the host team, Liberty, and Taylorville on their way to the championship bracket. The Hornets lost to the eventual second-place team (Maroa) in the semi-finals in order to find themselves facing the girls from Newark.
Newark was dominant from the opening serve by Adams until the final play of the second-set when Newark won the match, 25-10, 25-8. Scott was a ton from the service line, having 3 aces with a 15 for 15 serving. Malone, Chapman, Williams, and Friestad were strong at the net against Eureka. Malone had 9 kills, Chapman added 5, and Williams and Friestad each pounded down 4. Chapman and Friestad each added 2 blocks, while Kenna Borton, Williams, and Malone each had 1. Taylor Christian had 23 assists in the match while sneaking in a kill of her own.
St. Thomas More won the championship of the tournament against Maroa in two-straight sets, 25-21, 25-14.
Newark is now 18-1 (4-0).
PLEASE NOTE, DIGS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS REPORT AND IN THE FINAL STATS. THEY WILL BE ADDED AT A LATER DATE.
Check out the full game stats for St. Thomas More: CLICK HERE
Check out the full game stats for Eureka: CLICK HERE
Check out the season cumulative stats: CLICK HERE