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Aces Serve Newtown High Spikers Well In Victory



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A lot of elements of the game — defense, strong net play, accurate placement by the setter to name a few — can set the tone in a volleyball match. But it all starts with serves. After all, a well-placed hit to put the ball into play might not even get returned or will be sent back over the net without authority, allowing the serving team to rack up points and maintain momentum.

Such was the case when Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team closed out a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-11) triumph over visiting Bethel on October 3. NHS tallied 18 points on service aces in the match, highlighted by five consecutive aces by Sarah Nowacki in the third game, which turned a 5-2 lead into a 10-2 bulge.

Nowacki finished with seven aces, Amanda Araujo had three, and Grace Miller had a pair — both in that final game, which Maggie McInerney ended with, what else but an ace.

The service game isn’t always a strength, but it certainly was in that close-out game against Bethel, allowing the Nighthawks to make the final game no contest.

“We’re hit or miss with our serving,” Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski said.

The Nighthawks recorded 14 aces in a season-opening win over visiting Pomperaug of Southbury two days earlier. Newtown jumped out to a 3-0 start with a win at New Milford on October 5.

“Team chemistry has been fantastic so far,” Czaplinski said following the Bethel match. “The girls are just happy right now to be playing volleyball.”

Newtown defeated Pomperaug 3-1 (25-13, 22-25, 26-24, 25-15). Nowacki and Keyera Smith each had four of Newtown’s 14 aces. Nowacki had 13 kills and five digs; Chloe O’Connell logged seven digs; Araujo had five kills; Delia Clouden and Smith both had four kills; and McInerney logged 32 assists.

Nowacki piled up 13 kills, Kate Petersen had five kills, and Maddie Patrick and Araujo both had four kills in the win over Bethel. McInerney totaled 29 assists.

NHS honored its seniors on Senior Night when the Hawks hosted Pomperaug. Patrick, Petersen, Nowacki, McInerney, and Araujo were all recognized.

Maddie Patrick goes up for a block during an October 3 victory over visiting Bethel. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Kate Petersen sends the ball back over the net.
Grace Miller keeps the ball in play.
Keyera Smith serves for Newtown.
Sarah Nowacki slams the ball over the net.
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