1A No. 9 New London and 2A No. 7 Van Buren split epic battles

NEW LONDON — It was on like donkey kong this weekend when two of the best volleyball teams in the area met in battles of ranked foes. 1A No. 9 New London handed 2A No. 7 Van Buren its first loss in SEISC South Division play on Thursday night, beating the Warriors in a five-set thriller (17-25, 25-23, 25-15, 16-25, 15-12). Van Buren bounced back two days later in New London’s home tournament, beating the Tigers the championship, 21-17, 22-24, 15-13.

In Thursday’s league win, the Tigers had three players record double-digit kills. Addie Pry led the way with 14 kills. Keaura Williams had 13, and Marah Hartrick had 11.

Alexa Wenger had eight kills on the day. Sofie Reighard added seven.

Aliyah Christensen led the team with 43 assists. Kyra Linkin had 36 digs.

New London went 108-115 serving the ball, and tallied 10 aces. Mazie Parker had three aces on the night. Emma Nye, Linkin and Wenger each had two, and Pry had one.

Wenger served the last five points of the game to seal the win for the Tigers.

Van Buren was led by Selena Sayre, who went off for 23 kills in the loss. Grace Davidson had 14. Taryn Scheuermann had 10 kills and five blocks, and Chloe Davidson had six kills.

Isabel Manning tallied 38 digs in the loss. Madison Bartholomew finished with 25 assists.

Van Buren went 97-100 with eight aces serving the ball. Logan Schmidt had three aces. Sayre had two, and the trio of Bartholomew, Chloe and Manning had one each.

After winning their pool on Saturday, Sayre led Van Buren with 15 kills in the championship win. Grace had 13 kills.

Manning finished with 21 digs in the championship win over New London. Schmidt had 15 assists and the team’s only ace.

In Saturday’s loss, New London was led in kills by Pry, who had 10. Williams finished with five. Linking had 25 digs and Christensen finished with 19 assists.

New London had another good serving performance, despite the loss. Hartrick and Linkin each had two aces, and Pry had one.

Winfield-Mt. Union, Mid-Prairie and Highland also participated in New London’s tournament. W-MU went 2-3, beating Louisa-Muscatine and English Valleys in pool play. M-P went 1-2, picking up one three-set win over Highland. The Huskies finished 0-3.