Lake Mead sophomore selected Southern League MVP in girls volleyball

Diana Lewis might have trouble picking Lake Mead’s volleyball Most Valuable Player this year.

The rest of the Class 1A Southern League coaches had no such problem when it came to choosing the league MVP.

Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Newton, who helped the Eagles to their first state title last weekend in Reno, earned the honor.

“She’s a great all-around player,” Lewis said. “Most of the other coaches saw that. She led the league in kills and was up there in digs and serves.”

Lake Mead’s Amanda Wellman and Jessica Rinaldi were named to the eight-player first team.

“I almost hate giving out an MVP this year because we had so many kids contribute to our success,” Lewis said. “One person’s weakness was someone else’s strength. They just naturally came together.”

But Newton’s play caught the eyes of many.

Converted from middle blocker after her freshman season, the sophomore almost never left the court.

The same was true with Wellman, a junior outside hitter, who also was a force on offense and defense.

Rinaldi, a setter, was the Eagles’ lone senior and a steady hand on the floor.

“The fact that we had so many different talents on our team helped,” Lewis said. “We could attack in a variety of ways, with different people.”

Pahranagat Valley, which lost to Lake Mead in the state title match, has four representatives on the first team — senior libero Molly Hansen, senior setter Mary Higbee, senior outside hitter Chanae Canning and junior middle blocker Dakota Day.

Rounding out the first team are Tonopah senior middle hitter Kristy Glover and Round Mountain junior outside hitter Kattrena Akers.

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