Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
NEW LONDON — The No. 9 (1A) New London volleyball team just won’t go away. In a season filled with setbacks, the Tigers keep pressing on, and that’s exactly what they did on Thursday night.
Just days after an injury to senior middle hitter Paris Wilka, the Tigers hosted Pool 4 in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference tournament, where they would go 3-0 to earn a spot in Saturday’s tournament finals.
“It's awesome,” said senior setter Aliyah Christensen. “It's so fun to work together as a team."
The Tigers defeated Columbus, Highland and Central Lee, all in two-set sweeps.
“ (Paris) was a huge loss for us, but we have a freshman, Morgan Jones, who stepped up and did a great job today,” Christensen said. “We knew we had to keep fighting.”
First-year head coach Lindsey Johnson has seen her share of bad luck since taking over the team earlier this summer. All-State hitter Keaura Williams transferred to Mt. Pleasant, and the team has had to battle injuries since their first tournament of the year.
“They have to be really resilient,” Johnson said. “We've had a lot of adversity in so many different ways.”
The Tigers cruised in the first two matches, beating Columbus 21-10, 21-11, and Highland 21-7, 21-10.
New London won the first set against Central Lee, 21-13, but had to storm back from a deficit to take the second, 21-19.
“Central Lee is a dangerous team,” Johnson said. “I knew we would have a fight on our hands.”
Central Lee took second, another advancing spot to Saturday’s final day, which plays out the last eight teams, starting at 5 p.m. Highland took third with a win over Columbus, and the Wildcats were winless.
Highland’s win over Columbus came by the scores of 21-12, 21-13. Central Lee defeated Highland 21-16, 21-15 and beat Columbus by the exact same scores.