DERBY — Newton had too many frustrating moments in its opening match loss to Derby on Tuesday.
Not only did the Railers cruise in the match's first game, but they led late in Game 3 before letting the victory slip away. They failed to block strongly at the net, giving up 18 kills to Hayley Ray.
"Too often we get complacent and we don't finish," Newton hitter Katie Loescher said. "We need to keep pushing."
It looked like Newton would experience more of the same difficulties against Maize, which had beaten Newton the previous three times they played. But the Railers finished this time.
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Newton (21-6) won the final two games of the match, giving Maize its first loss in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division I play with a 17-25, 25-20, 25-22 win.
Maize defeated Derby 25-17, 20-25, 25-22 and Derby (16-12) beat Newton 16-25, 25-22, 27-25.
"We brought back the emotion and passed a lot better," said Loescher, who had 22 kills in the two matches. "We were passing the ball better, we were putting the ball down. Everything was better.
Teammate Emily Hiebert had 16 kills and six stuff blocks on the night.
Just as Newton experienced disappointment and exhilaration, so did Maize and Derby.
For Maize, it was important to come back from its loss to Newton and beat Derby.
"It was frustrating to lose that one to Newton because we had beaten them three times before," Maize's McKenzie Hartzog said. "It was a rough night."
Maize middle Lindsey Jones played sparingly. She didn't practice on Monday because of a sore back and was questionable on Tuesday.
"We came into the games just a little off our rocker," Maize coach Betsy Manning said.
And while the Eagles rolled in the first game against Derby, they crumbled in the second as the Panthers battled.
"It was up and down, just not very consistent," said Hartzog, who had 25 kills in the two matches.
Derby was led by Ray again; she finished with 32 kills in the matches.
Finally, in Game 3, Maize put it together to get the win.
With Hartzog jump serving, the Eagles scored four straight for the 20-14 lead. Maize scored five of the match's final seven points.
Even though Derby finished 1-1 Tuesday, coach Shelby Kraus was pleased. Especially with the win over Newton.
"Every week we've gotten better and better and better," she said. "We're kind of young. Focus is sometimes an issue. But I felt we stayed focused for the most part."
Derby's Hayley Ray
Newton's Katie Loescher
Maize's McKenzie Hartzog