Becky Seivert downed eight kills and Newell-Fonda earned a league tie for second place with Alta and Schaller-Crestland Tuesday, beating the Storm Lake St. Mary's volleyball team 3-0 on Senior Night.
The Mustangs won the Northwest Conference match by scores of 25-11, 25-4, 25-22.
It was the third time in four years N-F has taken second place in the league. They finished the regular season 10-12 while going 5-2 in the NWC. Eight of their matches were against 2A schools.
"Coming off a tough five-game match the night before against Manson Northwest Webster, (assistant) coach (Patti) Demers and I wondered how our girls would respond," Mustangs coach Craig Davis said. "They came out ready to go from the start. Our team served the ball exceptionally well tonight."
Susan Kies, Lauren Devereaux, and Megan Peters all had six kills for the 'Stangs. Katie Kaufman, Katelyn Laursen and Alisa Christensen added four apiece.
"The girls made several nice hustle plays that were turning points in the match. We did a nice job taking care of the volleyball for most of the night and found a nice rhythm," Davis said. "Our team plays like they believe in each other and that's the mindset we want as we head into district play."
Kies dished out 24 assists for N-F, while Devereaux led the Mustangs in the digging department with 19. Seivert and Rachel Culp both had 14 digs; Kies had eight and Christensen seven.
The Mustangs were 72 of 74 serving, with Culp (24-24), Kies (16-16), Christensen (12-12) and Devereaux (9-9) all converting perfect percentages.
Culp served up five aces, while Seivert and Kies both had three.
For St. Mary's, which was hunting for its second win of the season, Rylee Paterson had three kills, four blocks and an ace.
Camille Pickhinke doled out 15 assists; Annette Frank added two kills and four digs. Additionally for the Panthers, Erin Broich had a kill and Jen Dimig posted a kill and two aces.
"We had a tough time getting into the game tonight. We were missing one of our starting setters and couldn't seem to get passes up to the setter," said Panthers coach Heather Beal. "By the third game we found a rotation that worked for us and were able to play a competitive game."
Davis said playing a tough regular-season schedule has made his team stronger.
"As of Monday morning, every team in the state is 0-0, so you can throw the records out the window," he said. "Games will be decided by teams on the court. Little things will make a big difference.
"The team willing to do the little things will be rewarded."
The Mustangs host Odebolt-Arthur Monday in first-round districts at 7 p.m.
One night before the St. Mary's match, Newell-Fonda dropped a 3-2 decision to Manson Northwest Webster.
Laursen floored 10 kills and Culp brought up 15 digs while Kies dropped off 26 assists.
"We haven't been close to MNW in past years, but our girls didn't back down," Davis said. "Rachel Culp communicating in the back row saved us at least 10 points tonight and her serving was outstanding. Paige Vanderhoff came off the bench to serve in some critical portions of the match, stayed poised and made her team and coaches proud."