SOMONAUK – Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “domination” as “to rule or control by superior power.”
The Newark volleyball team has embodied that definition for the better half of two decades at the Little Ten Conference Tournament.
This season was no exception. The No. 1-seeded Norsemen, won their 21st overall title throughout the 44 years of the event, 15th over the last 18 seasons under coach Tonya Grayson, producing a resounding 25-10, 25-17 win over No. 2-seeded Earlville on Friday at Somonauk.
Newark used its powerful attacking game, defensive digging and pinpoint serving to up its record to a sparkling 24-1 while hoisting yet another LTC Tourney trophy.
Sophomore Madi Malone led Newark with 12 points, nine kills and nine digs, while junior libero Meggie Scott had 12 digs and 13 service points with three aces.
Junior middle hitter Mattie Chapman added five kills and three stuff blocks, while senior setter Olivia Nelson provided 23 assists. Freshman Megan Williams also added four kills.
“We take a lot of pride in the way we play this tournament year after year,” Grayson said. “I don’t think we’ve had such a dominating match in the Little Ten Tournament over the years like we had tonight. They just came out firing on all cylinders tonight.
“This tournament is important to us, and winning it never gets old.”
The Raiders (14-5) – playing in their first LTC title game since 1982 – received four kills and five digs from junior Kylie Koontz and eight digs from junior Meg Harness.
After trading points early in the match, Malone went on a huge, 11-point serving run where Mattie Chapman registered three kills and two blocks to stake the Norsemen to a 15-4 lead.
Earlville could get no closer than 20-10 after two consecutive aces by Kelsey Chapman.
Scott started her amazing serving night by reeling off the last four service points with a pinpoint lob into the Raiders midcourt on set point.
Then, with the Norsemen up 11-6 in the second set, Scott served up nine consecutive points including two more aces to put her team up 20-6 after a laserbeam kill from Malone.
“We gained a lot of momentum after the first game, and I really trusted myself at the service line tonight,” Scott said. “After ending the first set strong, I just went back to work in the second set and got on a roll, and we just kept scoring.”
Earlville embarked on an 11-4 run from there that cut the Newark lead down to 24-17, but Malone buried a left-side kill on match point that closed out the match.
Yorkville tops DeKalb
Bella Zeman had seven kills and eight digs and Maddy Bourque added 17 assists to lead the Foxes (20-4, 4-1) past DeKalb, 25-19, 17-25, 25-21, on Tuesday. Sydnei Avery added seven kills and Roni Blissit eight digs.