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Holding court
Newton stuns Eastside 3-1 for first win over county rival
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Newton volleyball made history Thursday against rival Eastside. The Lady Rams also made a statement. They topped the Lady Eagles 25-7, 21-25, 25-13 and 25-19 to take the best of five match and beat their county foes for the first time.

"A lot of the girls have played together two and three seasons and I think they've finally understand the game," Newton coach Shandelyn Carter said. "There are still some things we need to work on but they have improved a lot in the last two seasons."

Newton played inspired defense throughout the match and didn't suffer a letdown despite Eastside evening the match when they took the second game. The Lady Eagles on the other hand never were able to find their rhythm, especially in the third game.

"I wanted them to keep their heads up and not get discouraged," Eastside coach Angie Lewis said. "One game from another is totally different but it does affect them especially when they're down. But we had some good things happen. Katie and Sydney (Johnston) with the blocking and Diamond had some good blocks."

Ashley Viel set the tone for the Lady Rams late in the first game with a block on a laser from Eastside's All-Region hitter Katie Johnston.

"That was huge. She (Viel) needed that confidence booster because sometimes she lets herself get down but that helped her play well the rest of the match," Carter said.

Newton controlled the second game until Eastside broke a 14-14 tie. After three straight Eastside points, Newton bounced back to tie it at 17. The two teams went back-and-forth until Katie Johnston served out from a 21-21 tie.

Newton shook off the loss to take the third game in dominating fashion. The Lady Rams opened up a quick 6-2 lead then with the score 8-4, reeled off 11 straight points to lead 19-4. The Lady Eagles managed to cut the deficit to 10 late in the game but that was as close as they would get.

"I told the team coming in that they (Newton) had some height and they're on the net and they're going to hit hard so the girls were expecting it but I think it kind of took them by surprise a little bit too," Lewis said.

In the fourth game, it was all Newton again. Eastside kept it close but every time it looked like the Lady Eagles would make a run, Newton had an answer. What's more, the Lady Rams played nearly flawlessly from the service line. For the match, the Lady Rams only made four service errors.

Kelsey Upton's kill made it 18-11 in the fourth game and gave the Lady Rams their largest lead. It was a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Eastside crept to within 23-19 before the Lady Rams served out to take the match 3-1.

"This is our first decisive victory. This is something we needed," Carter said. "They needed to find out that they can do it."