Newton volleyball advances in D-IV with win over Covington

TROY — It didn’t come easy.

But, nothing has for the Newton volleyball team.

But, the Indians just find a way to win.

On Saturday, Newton avenged a regular season loss to Covington with a 27-25, 12-25, 25-22, 25-15 win in Troy D-IV sectional action.

Newton, 16-7, tied the school record for wins and played Tuesday’s district semifinal match with Jackson Center.

“I am so proud of these girls,” Newton coach Danita Rapp said. “We tied the school record for win. It was our first tournament win since 2014 and we beat our big rival.”

It was a tough way to see the season end for Covington coach Ellie Cain, whose squad finished 17-7.

“We did a lot of good things during the season,” she said. “We had a lot of big wins. We have kind of been a roller coaster (up and down during matches) all year and today it came back to haunt us.”

Cain was referring to the turning point in the match.

After Newton had won the first set 27-25, Covington blazed through the second set 25-12 to even the match.

The Buccs jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the third set and seemed in complete control with a 19-11 lead.

“I was thinking we were going five sets,” Rapp said. “”But, I was also thinking our girls never give up, so we could still win in four.”

Rapp made a move that seemed to swing the momentum of the match.

“I decided to run a play we hadn’t run all year,” she said. “We have a sophomore middle (Bella Hall) and I told her we are going to set you and you are going to hit the ball. And she did a great job. After about four points, Covington made an adjustment.”

But, the run gave Newton momentum that they never gave back.

Newton outscored Covington 14-3 the rest of the set.

Covington was called for four hits to make it 24-22 and Newton finished off the set on Ella Rapp’s serve.

“I think what it did is give us the confidence we could win the match,” Danita Rapp said about the comeback.

In the fourth set, Newton had a five point run to stretch and 10-8 lead to 15-8.

Kaylee Deeter had an ace and Emma Hemphill had a tip in the run.

Kills by Hannah Beidelman and Katelyn Walters help increase the lead to 19-10.

Beidelman had a block and Eva Bowser an ace as Newton finished off the win 25-15.

“We had every opportunity to come back and win the fourth set and we didn’t do it,” Cain said.

The opening set was a battle from the start.

At 25-25, Bowser had an amazing dig that landed on the Covington side for a point and Walters finished it off with a kill.

Covington quickly responded in set two before Newton’s rally in set three swung the match.

For Covington, Carlie Besecker filled out the stat sheet with nine kills, seven blocks, eight digs and three aces.

Nigella Reck had 14 kills and 12 digs and Taylor Kirker had 32 assists, eight digs and four aces.

Lauren York had eight digs and Reaghan Lamp added seven digs.

For Newton, Katelyn Walters had 12 kills and four blocks and Beidelman had five kills.

Deeter had 10 kills and 19 digs and Hemphill had seven kills and 12 digs.

“Our motto all year has been, ‘We before Me,’” Rapp said. “We have always stressed being a family. These girls really treat each other like family. They enjoy being together and weren’t ready for the season to be over.”

No matter what it took to get it done.