Playing in their 7th consecutive region final, Newell Fonda punched a state volleyball tournament ticket for the 1st time in school history with a four-set victory over #8 AGWSR in Fort Dodge.
The unranked Mustangs led for almost the entire opening set, as the only time they trailed was 8-7. The Mustangs scored three straight points to regain the lead. The score was tied four times after that, nine times total, including as late as 21-21. Newell Fonda scored consecutive points, the second of which was an ace by McKenna Sievers. After the Cougars got within a point, Kinzee Hinders put down a kill, and after a service error, another Hinders kill gave the Mustangs the set 25-23.
AGWSR scored first in the next set, but the Mustangs then scored four in a row and never looked back. Newell Fonda built a lead as high as eight points on four occasions, including as late as 14-6. AGWSR fought back to close within two points, including as late as 21-19. Lindsey Wolf tallied two big kills down the stretch to help give the Mustangs the set 25-21.
Newell Fonda held a couple of brief leads early in set three, but AGWSR soon took control with an 11-4 run, and later a 5-0 run on their way to a 25-15 win.
Newell Fonda bounced back and never trailed in the 4th set. After a 3-0 run by AGWSR after a timeout pulled them within 7-6, Kierra Jungers delivered back-to-back kills, and a 6-0 run soon after that gave the Mustangs their biggest lead of the set at 18-10, and they wrapped up the set and the match 25-19.
Hinders tallied an astounding 29 kills on the night, with a .293 kill efficiency. Kierra Jungers added 12 kills. McKenna Sievers provided 18 assists, and Jaicee Vanderhoff had 14 assists. Hinders had three of the Mustangs six blocks, and Isabel Bartek had 27 digs.
Postgame comments from Hinders, Jungers, Sievers, and Bartek, and an interview with co-head coach Arick Loew, can be heard below.
Newell Fonda avenges last year’s region final loss to AGWSR, and improves to 21-8. The Cougars season ends at 18-24.
The Mustangs’ 11th win in a row propels them into the 1A state tournament in Coralville. Newell Fonda is the 8th seed, and will face top seed and #1 ranked Ankeny Christian next Tuesday, October 31st at 6pm at the Xtream Arena on Court One. The match will be broadcast on Mix 101.7FM.
(photo credit to Scott Kilbride)