New Life volleyball: Eagles split pair, are 15-6 on seasonThe New Life Academy volleyball team went 1-1 in a pair of Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference matches last week.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The New Life Academy volleyball team went 1-1 in a pair of Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference matches last week, falling 3-1 to Heritage Christian (25-18, 21-25, 25-13, 25-16) on Thursday, Oct. 6, after beating Bethany Academy 3-0 (25-19,25-18,25-17) on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
In the win over Bethany, NLA senior outside hitter Ally Lamb led the way, racking up a team-high 13 kills to go along with two blocks. Senior libero Macayla Stone led the defense with a team-best eight digs and eighth-grade setter Kara Stenerson and senior setter Lauren Ruhr each had a team-high nine set assists. Additionally, eighth-grader Abby Gorter chipped in six kills and four digs in a well-rounded game.
In the loss to Heritage Christian, Lamb and eighth-grade middle hitter Abby Thor each had a team-best eight kills, while senior outside hitter Claire Watkins added seven kills. Gorter led the team in digs with eight, followed by Ruhr with seven digs. Stenereson had a team-best 16 assists, with Ruhr adding 15 set assists.
Before the conference matches last week, New Life Academy (15-6) went 1-4 at the Park Tournament in Cottage Grove on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Eagles’ lone win came against the host, Park, which plays in Class AAA. NLA, which is a Class A school, beat Park 2-1 (22-25,25-14,15-13).
In that match, Lamb had a team-best 11 kills, with Stenerson contributing a team-high 25 set assists. Also, Gorter had 10 kills and eight digs, Hawkins had five kills and two digs and freshman defensive stopper Maddie Stocker chipped in eight digs.
Prior to the Park tournament and conference battles, NLA was on a 15-1 run, improving its record to 15-3 on the year.
“We lost our first two non-conference matches back in August and then just had a very fine run since then,” NLA head coach Wally Bomgren said. “Our tougher conference matches lie ahead of us, but by the looks of it, we are ready. Many of our players have spent extra time in the gym working on various skills, and in every case, it has panned out well for them.”
Bomgren said a good example is the play of Hawkins.
“Claire worked hard in the weight room during the off season, and it shows,” Bomgren said. “Everything she does is stronger. She is hitting for a higher percentage, and has been blocking superbly. She has scored some key points for us.”