DERBY, Kan.—In preparations for Tuesday’s triangular at Derby, the girls on the Maize squad mentioned to head coach Betsy Manning that losing to Newton was a disappointment in 2011.
“We were going to make sure that didn’t happen again,” said Manning.
Both Newton and Maize had just one loss in AVCTL Div. 1 and with the match between the two teams Tuesday, both were looking for that top spot in the league.
“Every year we talk about how our goals are to win league, win sub-state and then place at state,” said head coach Betsy Manning. “The last few years we’ve been able to get to state, but fizzle out once we get there.”
Maize took one step closer to goal No. 1 Tuesday with a 26-24, 25-18 win over the Lady Railers.
In the first set, Maize was up 22-19 and looking to put the set away, but Newton rattled off five straight points to go up 24-23. Maize was not about to lose this set, though.
“They wanted it,” said Manning. “They wanted it bad. They were aggressive and didn’t play scared. I was waiting for us to have to fight back a little bit and get the big one and that big one came at just the right time.”
Maize started hitting the ball harder, placing its shots more precisely and won the next three points to take the first set 26-24.
Serve after serve fell in for Maize in the set and the success with its serves the first set carried over into the second set. The Lady Eagles hit the spots they were trying to hit and it got Newton off balance.
The Lady Eagles were able to keep Newton off balance enough to keep the pedal to the floor in the 25-18 set win.
After the huge league win over Newton, Manning said it meant “absolutely nothing because we still have to take care of Derby and Salina Central.”
Check Derby off the list. The Lady Panthers gave Maize all it could handle in a 25-20 first set win, but Maize bounced back big time to take the set by a final score of 20-25, 25-10, 25-16.