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Hawk Spikers Defeat Wildcats And Mustangs



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Visiting Immaculate of Danbury hung tough in each game, but the Newtown High School girls’ volleyball team was too strong in a match between the South-West Conference foes on September 27. The Nighthawks prevailed 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-15) to remain unbeaten in SWC play heading into Wednesday’s scheduled visit to always-powerful Joel Barlow of Redding.

After the Mustangs pulled to within four points late in game two, the Nighthawks finished on a 4-0 run capped by front-row spikes by Natalie Horn and Veronica Kroha.

Although Immaculate never led in game three, it was close until a late Nighthawks pull-away. It was 8-7 Newtown before the Hawks reeled off four straight points beginning with a Kate Petersen kill and ending with a Sarah Nowacki blast off the top of the net and over, making the score 12-7. The Mustangs got six of the next eight points to pull to within one at 14-13. The teams traded points, and then Newtown closed things out with a 10-1 run. Veronica Kroha’s kill and Kira Smith’s smash, which was too hot to handle, helped Newtown seize a 17-14 advantage.

An ace by Horn and kill by Genevieve Murray extended the lead to 19-14. Kroha dropped an serve just inside the back line for a 22-15 advantage and followed that score with another ace. Murray and Smith had back-to-back kills to end it.

Kroha had six aces, four kills, and two digs; Horn finished with three aces, five kills, and three digs; Murray logged ten kills; Nowacki finished with seven kills to go along with an ace and a dig; Petersen and Amanda Arujo both had four kills; and Lauren Belden and Catie Gregory (who registered an ace) both had three digs.

This was Newtown’s third consecutive 3-0 triumph, including a victory over Bethel two days earlier in which the Hawks won by scores of 25-12, 25-15, 25-15. Nowacki had eight kills, three digs, and an ace; Murray and Arujo both logged seven kills and an ace; and Korha had five kills and a pair of aces.

Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski said after the Immaculate match that the Nighthawks continue to work on communication but that it is getting better as the season goes on.

“The ball control has been steadily improving, which is a good sign,” Czaplinski added.

Newtown improved to 4-1 overall. Immaculate dropped to 6-2, and Bethel dropped to 1-5 in the loss to the Hawks before defeating Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport two days later.

Barlow, which has won seven straight conference championships — with Newtown reaching the final each of the last three years, came into Wednesday’s match with an overall mark of 4-2. Barlow lost to FCIAC team Westhill of Stamford and split in couple of matches with Masuk of Monroe.

Natalie Horn sends the ball over the net during Newtown's win over Immaculate. (Bee Photos, Hutchison)
Genevieve Murray sends the ball over the net.
Veronica Kroha spikes the ball for a point.
Lauren Belden keeps the ball moving with a dig.
Sarah Nowacki keeps the ball in play.
Amanda Arujo, left, and Kate Petersen go up for a block.
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