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Valley Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY - Waverly and Newark Valley appear to be the early-season favorites in the IAC South Large School chase. On Monday, the two teams met to find out which one would gain the upper hand and, after four exciting games, the host Cardinals emerged with a 3-1 victory.

"I can definitely tell you Newark Valley showed up to play tonight," said Waverly head coach Keisha Sinsabugh. "We did in the second game and definitely the fourth game, definitely not the first game or the third game, and that's something I've been harping on them over the last week on. We've been on a straight up and then a straight down roller coaster. 

"Coming off this weekend, we were definitely at the bottom, so anything they brought in, which they did tonight against Newark Valley, was an improvement back up that hill."

"We had a lot of ups and downs which I was not anticipating," NV head coach Kelsey O'Donnell said. "I was hoping that we could just get it done in three, but they came ready to play too and it was a hard-fought battle."

NV would take game one, 25-18, but the final three sets were down-to-the-wire battles. The Wolverines won game two, 25-23, but the Cardinals came back to take game three, 25-23.

The home team looked like it would cruise to a big win in the fourth set, building an early 8-2 cushion. However, Waverly would not go away quietly. The Wolverines trimmed the lead to 10-7, only to watch NV regroup and build an 18-9 advantage. 

Once again, Waverly got it together and closed the gap to 19-16, but a couple of big plays by JV call-up Gracie Gardner put the Cardinals up, 24-20. 

The Wolverines then capitalized on a handful of NV miscues, rallying to tie the game at 24 before the Cardinals got back on track to end the match.

"Newark Valley definitely played their hearts out tonight," Sinsabaugh said. "They played really well. I don't think we played the best we could, but I know they have that potential there to keep going and play like they did the last 20 points of that (last) game, because that was exciting."

"They're always a top team to beat and they always battle well with us, so we're always ready to play Waverly," O'Donnell said.

Maddy Goodwin had 14 points, three aces, four kills and seven digs; Sidney Tomasso contributed kills and a block; Aryan Peters came up with 10 digs; Chloe Croft chipped in with nine points, 14 digs and 19 assists; Paige Lewis had 12 points, five aces, six kills and 18 digs; Morgan Adams had two blocks and Adrianah Clinton added nine kills and eight digs.

For NV, Emma Graves had 10 kills, six digs and an ace; Leah Hartenstein added two aces and a dig; Kate Maine contributed 11 digs and three assists; Kayla Malarkey had five kills, four digs, two aces and two assists; Kimi Mertson contributed six aces and two digs; Libby Northrop chipped in with five digs and two kills; Jordan Stiffarm had 14 digs, eight aces, two assist and a kill; Allie Wandell added 18 assists, 11 kills, seven digs, an ace and a block; and Gardner had two kills two blocks and an assist.

Waverly hosts Newfield this evening.


IN PHOTO 1: Waverly's Maddy Goodwin. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR

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