TIGERS EARN THEIR STRIPES AGAINST CAMPBELL

By Ty Bartell 

NEWTON FALLS OH- It was conference night on the network with dozens of volleyball teams squaring-off inside their respective leagues for the right to claim a conference crown! This included The Gray Division of The Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference (MVAC) with The Newton-Falls Tigers hosting in The Campbell-Memorial Red Devils. The two squads had one prior meeting on August 24th, in Soup City, where The Red Devils captured the 3-1 match victory. Fast forward to Tuesday night and the two teams would meet for the final time this regular season.

It was a battle in the opening set with both tying one another constantly and no real separation occurring throughout the set. The defense of The Tigers made a difference, thwarting multiple swings from Campbell, helping Newton Falls pull away late to win set one 25-21. The energy was kept and carried over to the second set with both teams coming up even on the scoreboard time and time again. The Red Devils were creating production from all over the floor in an attempt to solve The Tigers defense. Nevertheless, The Falls were able to gut out a grinding 27-25 win in set two to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match!

Following the set win, The Tigers had a straight set sweep on the mind; however, Campbell had other plans! Grabbing a commanding lead early and never letting it go, The Red Devils came out red hot and torched the Tigers 25-11 to stay alive with a set three win. Refocused in the following set, Newton Falls jumped out to an early lead. But Campbell showed great poise and weathered the early storm and willed their way back in front. Both teams were not giving an inch as set four looked a lot more similar to the first two sets of the match. It would be The Red Devils who would see themselves on top at the conclusion of set four with the 25-21 victory to force set five!

Set five was no different than the majority of the sets in the match in that it was competitive from the jump and stayed that way until the end. Both teams would see various lead changes in set five, but the play of Dani Drake was a difference maker both on the floor and as a leader on the team. The MVP-like performance helped her lead The Tigers to an exhilarating 15-13 set five win to take the match 3-2 and get their revenge on The Red Devils!

Dani Drake recorded the double-double in assists (37) and digs (28) to help lead her team. While Lilly Sait led the team with 20 kills followed by Ivy Huang with 15. Lauren Bervish did work on the defensive side as well, leading the team with 29 digs.

With the win, Newton-Falls (7-5)(3-5) will now set their sights on crosstown rival LaBrae (10-2)(5-2) where they will host The Vikings on Wednesday, September 19th. Campbell-Memorial (8-4)(5-3) will host conference-leading Crestview (11-0)(8-0) on Thursday, September 21st.

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