Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

October 25, 2013

Eagles power past Pirates

TOLEDO — For its last game before Regionals, Newton swept through a young Cumberland team in two sets on Thursday and built insurmountable leads in both sets.

Hannah Litzelman's nine kills led the Eagles in the win that makes them 10-1 in the Little Illini Conference to end the regular season.

The Eagles built leads of 14-7 in each set against Cumberland, stretching the first-set lead to 20-13 and the second-set lead to 23-10 before winning 25-14 and 25-12.

Andrea Cartright's seven kills and Taylor Johnson's five kills also paced the Eagles as their offense put Cumberland's defense on its heels.

“I feel like to begin the year we were the team that was just taking it, playing defense, which is great because you want to keep the ball off the floor, but there comes a time when you want to be the aggressor and want to be the team that's hitting,” Newton head coach Jill Kistner.

Kistner said her team has worked a lot on setting up its hitters and showed improvement in that area on Thursday, led by Gabby Zerrusen's 13 assists.

Newton, which is the top seed in at the Class 2A Casey-Westfield Regional next week, finished each set strong by scoring eight of the last nine points in the first set and eight of the last ten points in the second.

Kistner said her team's consistency showed up against Cumberland, after what she said was a roller coaster season, finishing 23-12 overall.

She said her team did a good job matching the effort of the Pirates' young team that features 10 underclassmen.

“They have a lot of talent, but they're just young,” Kistner said. “They just go out and play hard all the time. I tried explaining to my seniors that you have to go out and play the same. Every ball is a big ball. You just have to play every point like it's the most important.”

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