[The Times | Tracey MacLeod]
In the first set, Malone came out strongly as usual registering six kills early on that staked Newark to a 13-7 lead. Two points later, Sweeney started a five-point service run with two aces that put the Norsemen ahead 19-8 before she closed out the opener with a left-side kill into the Willows midcourt on set point.
The Eagles however, were not done by a long shot, opening up a 6-3 lead in the second set after a stellar five-point service rally by Kawa, which included four aces — three of which were in succession. Newark fought back with a trio of stealthy tip kills at the net from Chapman to tie the score at 9-9.
"I figured out they had some big hands up in the middle against my attack so I decided to find some wide open space in their defense," Chapman said. "Meggie Scott gave me places that she saw which really helped me tip in some winners."
Scott then reeled off five-consecutive service winners where Williams was a beast registering five kills from the left side throughout a 7-2 Lady Norsemen run to go ahead for good 16-11.
"Mattie Chapman and Meggie Scott really got me focused on what to fix after the first set and then the second set really clicked for me," Williams said. "Taylor (Christian) gave me some amazing sets and our passing was excellent too."
Newark closed out the title on a 9-3 run as Chapman and Williams each shared a left-side block on match point in order to face Dakota Friday with a second crack at a state berth on the line.
"We're going to have to play really well but I'm very confident that my girls are tested and they're prepared for any challenge put in front of them," Grayson said. "They've been through the gauntlet before and so now I trust them to come through and I believe they'll get things done when it matters the most in order to defend our championship."