MASON CITY - The Northeast Hamilton volleyball team was unable to sustain an early advantage and dropped a heartbreaker to Mason City Newman in a Class 1A Region 5 first-round match here last night.
The two teams traded the opening four sets, but the Knights utilized the home court advantage to seize control of the fifth set en route to victory, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 17-25, 15-7.
Northeast Hamilton's season ended at 9-17, while Newman (7-21) advanced to the quarterfinal round where it will face Northwood-Kensett - a 3-0 winner over CAL last night - next Tuesday.
"This was a team very much like us, they just played with a little more intensity (last night)," NEH head coach Kacey Pruismann said. "But I'm very pleased with the season overall. I love each one of these girls individually, and I'm very pleased with how much they've improved."
The Trojets overcame an early 15-9 deficit to claim the opening set and led 16-11 in Set No. 2 before Newman came to life.
The Knights dictated the tempo in the second and third sets to jump ahead. But Kaylee Massman quickly righted the NEH ship with four early service aces in Set No. 4, and the Trojets never trailed.
Kills - NEH: Molly Greenfield 5, Sarah Elm 8, Jennifer Jeffers 6, Kaylee Massman 7, Taylor Olson 6, Andi Anderson 6.
Blocks - NEH: Anderson 1.
Digs - NEH: Greenfield 5, Elm 7, Jeffers 14, Massman 10, Jaidyn Timm 7, Anderson 9.
Assists - NEH: Greenfield 13, Elm 14, Jeffers 1, Olson 1.
Serving - NEH: Greenfield 11-11, 1 ace; Elm 15-17, 1 ace; Jeffers 11-13; Massman 20-21, 6 aces; Timm 19-21, 4 aces; Anderson 14-14, 3 aces.
"That fourth (set) was pretty solid," Pruismann said. "We were the much more effective hitting team and our serving was dominant."
Massman finished with six aces. Jaidyn Timm walloped four and Andi Anderson had three.
Senior Sarah Elm led NEH in kills (eight) and assists (14). Classmates Jennifer Jeffers (six) and Molly Greenfield (five) combined for 11 kills; Jeffers came up with 10 digs, and Greenfield distributed 13 assists.
"I"m going to miss those three seniors more than they know," Pruismann said. "They've been very strong for us."
Massman lashed seven kills, while Anderson and Taylor Olson both had five.
Massman also came up with 10 digs, Anderson had nine and Timm seven.