GREENVILLE – Newark Charter won the first two sets in its DIAA Volleyball State Tournament first round matchup against Polytech thanks to strong passing.
The 18th-seeded Patriots fell out of a passing rhythm in the third game, allowing the 15th-seeded Panthers to extend the match, but Newark Charter recovered its passing late in the fourth set for a 3-1 win (25-12, 25-12, 24-26, 25-19) and earn the school’s first playoff victory in any sport.
“I think we passed really well and were able to run our offense antenna to antenna. That allowed us to have a lot of single block match-ups, and that helps when you’re playing against a team that has a big middle, trying to keep them off guard from where the ball is going to be set,” said Patriots head coach Jessica Weller.
Newark Charter (8-8) won each of the first two games by a 25-12 margin as they started off strong and steadily pulled away in each game, allowing them to build a 2-0 lead over Polytech (9-7).
In the third game, the Panthers’ responded by keeping it close but still down to its final point of the match at 24-22, but they scored the final four points of the third to win 26-24 and extend the match.
After seeing a 21-13 lead cut down to 22-19 in the fourth, the Patriots settled down and scored the match’s final three points to win 25-19 and take the match, giving the school its first playoff victory.
“It feels amazing to know that we’re the first for everything. Since I’m a senior and a part of the first graduating class here, it feels great to be a part of the first playoff win,” Abigail Cannon said.