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Girls Volleyball: Newark ready for Class 1A action

Updated: December 12, 2012 10:42PM



Seeded No. 1 at the Class 1A Earlville Regional, Little Ten Conference regular season and tournament volleyball champ Newark appears to be the area’s best small-school threat to move on to sectional play.

“(The seeding) shook out the way it should have since we’re all Little Ten teams in the regional. It really was a no-brainer,” said Newark coach Tonya Nagel, whose team is 27-4-1 and will open Tuesday with the winner of Monday’s match between No. 4 Hinckley-Big Rock and 5 Paw Paw. LaMoille (2) and Leland (3) will battle for the other regional final spot.

Nagel, who has just one player (an underclassman defensive specialist) on her roster who plays club volleyball, counts on a core of four seniors and one junior to lead her team.

Outside hitter Abby Akre is a four-year starter who leads the team with 211 kills and 233 digs. She and middle hitter Taylor Krug (139 kills) were both contributors as freshmen in 2009 when Newark advanced to a sectional final before bowing out to Lanark Eastland.

Senior setter Lauren Tollefson (457 assists) is a three-year starter and libero Melissa Schmidt has started for two years. Junior outside hitter Kristina Nichols is second on the team with 186 kills.

A regional win would send the Norsemen to Polo for sectional play.

“It’s never easy to beat a team in regional when you’re playing them the third time,” said Nagel. “But we haven’t overlooked anyone yet. It looks to be a pretty tight sectional that would be up for grabs if the top seeds all come out of their regionals.”



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