Newell-Fonda began their volleyball season at home Tuesday night, and they had quite the early season test. The Mustangs were dropped in straight sets by the #3 team in the state in class 1A in Southern Cal, but they now have a valuable measurement on how they stack up to one of the better teams in the state.
"Our team's energy level was outstanding tonight," said head coach Craig Davis. "We knew it would be a challenge playing the #3 team in the state on opening night. Our girls stepped up, played hard, and left it all on the court. The crowd was incredible, and it meant a lot to our girls to have so many fans there tonight."
The Mustangs kept it close during the first two sets as they fell 17-25 and 23-25. Southern Cal began to roll in the third, and at one point scored ten consecutive points as the put away the match 13-25.
Leading the Mustangs offensively, Lauren Devereaux and Katelyn Laursen each totaled six kills on the night. Jack Peters also added five of her own. Larsen was second on the team in assists with four behind Susan Kies' 12-assist performance.
Defensively Rachel Culp led Newell-Fonda with 13 digs while Devereaux added eight. Kies, Laursen, and Becky Seivert all had four apiece. Peters led the Mustangs in blocks with four.
"Jacki Peters played her first real meaningful varsity competition and did a great job," said Davis. "She has improved over the last couple of years and will keep getting better."
The opening night match should be a great tune-up for a Newell-Fonda team that faces a very competitive conference schedule this season.
"Our girls had to hustle for every point tonight," said Davis. "There are no cream-puffs on our schedule, but this group of girls will be up to the challenge."
The Mustangs are in action again on Saturday as they travel to Sheldon for tournament play. Matches begin at 9 AM.