Sydney Rubinstein had a career high 18 kills in Newton South’s 3-0 triumph over conference rival Acton-Boxborough. Heading into Wednesday’s match, the Lions (2-4) were bringing up the rear of the Dual County League Large but the win makes it clear that they have the skill to claw their way back up in the standings. “It was a nail biter to the end,” said head coach Todd Elwell. But, “statistically, we were just a little better today.” Newton South swept no. 20 A-B (7-3) by scores of 25-22, 25-23, 27-25. In the first set, the Lions were down, 20-10, before they roared back and outscored the Colonials, 10-2, to take a 1-0 lead. The Lions continued the momentum into the second set, going up 20-10 before committing six errors and allowing the Colonials back into the game. An ace by Sara Gelled-Watnick and kill by Nika Varpahovsky sealed the deal to go up 2-0. There were ¬¬70 possession changes during the match, 26 came in the third set. Neither team led by more than four points in the third set but Newton South had the edge. The Lions missed two match points at 24-22 and 24-23 but came back in the end to win the match and the game on two consecutive kills from Rubenstein. “This was a huge win for us,” said Elwell, in his eighth season with the Lions. “[Acton-Boxborough] has beaten some really good teams this year and we’ve lost a few close ones.” This is a rebuilding year for the Lions, who lost eight seniors to graduation last year. As a senior captain, Rubinstein has a lot on her shoulders but underclassmen, like six-foot sophomore, Charlotte Robins, and Varpahovsky are stepping up to the plate. Varpahovsky had three aces and two of the Lions’ five blocks on Wednesday and junior setter Julia Smith had 20 assists in the match. With programs like Lincoln-Sudbury and Westford Academy in the DCL, Newton South has a very strong regular season schedule every year. Elwell said that the tough competition prepares them well for the postseason. In the past four years, Newton South has twice reached the Central-East Division 1 finals, falling just short of the state tournament both times. But Elwell remains optimistic. “We turned a nice corner today,” he said. “We have always been the David in the David and Goliath battles.”
Newton South 3, Acton-Boxborough 0
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, at Newton
Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 8:32 p.m.