MaxPreps is pleased to announce that the Newton North (Newtonville, Mass.)
Tigers have officially been named to the 13th Annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard, which is in its eighth year honoring volleyball.
This is one of the most prestigious team awards in all of high school sports and it is an exclusive honor reserved for 100 of the top teams nationwide. In order to be eligible, a team must win a state championship and be highly ranked in the MaxPreps National Rankings. For volleyball, only 10 of the country's best are invited and with nearly 20,000 competing varsity teams, this puts the Tigers ahead of 99.9 percent of their opponents!
In order to be eligible, the team not only had to be nationally ranked, but also had to win a state championship. Beating Hopkinton 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 on Saturday, Nov. 18 in the MIAA Division I
state championship match marked the completion of an incredible 20-1 season — and earned Newton North an invitation to the Tour of Champions.
Ashley Wang produced three kills and a block over the final eight points to help the Tigers to the three-set sweep of 2016's Division 2 state champion Hillers. Wang came up big with the two teams deadlocked at 20-20, allowing the Tigers to go on and win their first state volleyball title since 2014 despite the loss of senior captain Miska Legatova to a left leg injury in the opening set.
Newton North took two different roads to victory in the first two sets. The Tigers jumped out to 11-3, 16-6 and 24-15 advantages in the opening set before Hopkinton won seven straight points to pull within 24-22. But a Liisa Halloran kill ended the threat. Then, with the score tied 17-17 in the second set, the Tigers scored eight of the final 10 serves to pull away.
Wang led the way with 13 kills in the three-set triumph, while Halloran and Julia Lanfear added seven and five ace spikes respectively. Wang, who also had a pair of ace serves, and Erin Carey led the Tigers with five and three blocks respectively. Lanfear led the champions with 14 digs, while Wang added 11 and Jessie Yang had 10 digs. Chelsea Simmons accounted for 18 set assists to nine for Wang.
Newton North opened postseason competition with a first round Bye. Then, following a 25-15, 25-10, 25-20 sweep of Newton South, the Tigers upended Cambridge 25-15, 25-10, 25-19. Newton North kicked in the door to the Final Four with a 25-22, 25-13, 25-11 triumph over King Philip. The Tigers bumped, set and spiked Barnstable from state championship contention with a 25-16, 25-22, 25-22 semifinal win to set up the championship bout with Hopkinton.
Richard Barton's club opened the season with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-12 win over Weymouth and eventually pushed its record to 9-0 on the year. Following a 25-15, 25-22, 25-15 loss to Barnstable, the Tigers did not lose the rest of the year. Newton North swept 17 opponents on the year and won 60 of the 67 sets they competed in. Only two foes claimed more than one set on the Tigers.
Having won 11 straight matches to end the year, Newton North set itself up for some rather high rankings come season's end. Not only did the Tigers end the season as the second best team in MaxPreps' Massachusetts Division I
rankings, Newton North is the second best team in all of Massachusetts
. The Tigers are ranked No. 47 in MaxPreps' National Rankings
These incredible season achievements have earned the Newton North Tigers an invitation to the 13th Annual Tour of Champions. Please join us in the gymnasium as we celebrate with the girls volleyball team, coaching staff, students and fans on Thursday, Feb. 15 at approximately 6:30 p.m. during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game.
For more information about the Tour of Champions, please visit the MaxPreps Tour of Champions site