Four score: Lady Norse complete another perfect season
NEWARK – A United States president could serve a full term in the time that Newark has gone without losing a Little Ten Conference varsity girls volleyball match.
The Lady Norsemen completed a fourth straight perfect season in the conference Wednesday with a 25-17, 25-19 victory over Indian Creek. They have now won 32 straight regular-season conference matches, having not lost since Hinckley-Big Rock defeated them in their final LTC match in 2009.
“It’s not like a goal that we set or anything,” Newark coach Tonya Grayson said. “But it’s happened along the way. I guess it’s ’10, ’11, ’12 and ’13 we’ve gone 8-0, so it’s kind of a nice little run.”
The streak also aligns with the time current Newark seniors Lindsey Larson, Alexa Myre, Kristina Nichols and Kristine Zitt entered high school. The streak officially extending to a fourth year coincided with the four being honored on senior night.
All four started and contributed Wednesday. Nichols had team highs in kills with six, service points with seven and aces with four. Myre had five kills, two points and an ace. Zitt had four kills, six points and three aces. Larson had three kills and four points.
“This is probably the first year – I’ve been on varsity for a couple years now – and the first year we’ve had the seniors so cohesive,” Myre said. “We played probably one of the best games we’ve played. We have all of our seniors back together, and we’ve overcome so much this season. I’m more than proud of them.”
A key point in the first game was when Nichols had a sideout kill and five straight service points, including three aces, to break open what had been a 9-7 game. Indian Creek did not go quietly in either that game, during which it was within 18-14 later, or the second, which got as close as 13-11 and then 23-18.
“They’re always going to be a good team. [Indian Creek coach] Steph [Crutcher] does a great job with their program over there,” Grayson said. “We know that no matter what kind of a season they’re having that we’re gonna get a great game from them. You win conference enough times and eventually you start running around with a target on your back.”
The Lady Norsemen will not play again until Tuesday, when they begin play at the 1A Hinckley-Big Rock Regional, where they are the top seed. Their semifinal opponent will be the winner of a match between No. 4 Islamic Foundation and No. 5 Mooseheart to be played Monday.
“That’s one thing we’ve worked toward is becoming really consistent,” Myre said. “And I think recently we’ve become the consistent team we need to be in postseason.”