After building a 15-12 lead, Newton's team made two miscommunication errors on the floor, but the team continued to go to sophomore Taylor Johnson, who kept them in the game with six aces.
Effingham took an 18-17 lead late in the set, which they never gave up; although, Newton tied them once and came within one point of a tie four times.
“A lot of hitting errors down the stretch,” Kistner said. “Bad timing. When it comes to a close game like that, everything is magnified.”
Newton also fell victim to unlucky bounces off the net, including Johnson's last spike attempt that bounced off the top of the net and fell out of bounds, giving Effingham its game-clinching point.
“(Johnson) is so competitive that she'll mentally take herself out of a game, which is tough because she doesn't know that the girls around her need her, and that's a sophomore thing,” Kistner said. “I can't coach competitiveness, but I also have a tough time coaching it out of them.”
Kistner was disappointed her team didn't win, but said she was proud of the way the team played in its first game, especially Johnson.
“I was really proud of the volleyball tonight because it was at a high level,” Kistner said. “It was our first game. I know what to go back and work on in practice now. I'm OK with where we're at.”
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Newton	25 17 21Effingham	22 25 25
Newton: T. Johnson (6 aces, 4 kills, 1 block, 9 digs), Koebele (2 aces, 1 kill, 8 assists, 5 digs), Wyatt (1 ace, 1 dig), E Johnson (1 ace, 1 kill, 12 digs), Cartright (7 kills, 10 digs), Litzelman (2 kills, 1 block), Kline (1 kill, 1 block), Zerrusen (1 kill, 10 assists, 1 block, 5 digs)Effingham: Roberts (3 digs, 1 kill), Mitchell (8 digs), Donaldson (6 digs, 2 kills), Beals (1 dig, 2 kills, 2 blocks), Zerrusen (8 digs, 3 kills, 1 blocks), Ramey (6 digs, 1 assist, 10 kills, 1 block), Nunamaker (1 dig, 1 assist, 2 kills), Totten (2 digs, 21 assists, 1 kill, 1 ace, 1 block), Robb (2 digs, 2 assists, 9 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks), Fred (2 digs, 1 assists)