Kills by Lesniewski and Rachael Beiermann re-knotted the game at 15-15. Newman then endured a series of long rallies while going on a 6-2 run.
“Our focus is really to play each point like it’s game point and not let up,” Newman coach Debbi Kelly said. “We adjusted our defense just a little bit to focus on number 10 (Lesniewski).”
Another string of kills by Lesniewski brought the score to 23-21 Newman. Following another Comets timeout, Newman brought home the final two points with a kill by Aubree Schmitt and a Fulton hitting error.
The teams continued to battle close in Set 2 before a string of miscues gave Newman a 5-3 advantage. The Steamers regained serve after a Comets misplay, but Germann was forced to burn one of her timeouts because one of her players illegally subbed into the match.
“They would’ve gotten the point. ... She just went in for the libero and we needed to sub,” she said.
A kill by Rosengren gave her the serve, and Newman subsequently rolled through eight straight points with Germann having only one precious timeout to use.
“Getting the momentum with the serve going with Megan Rosengren back at the line I think was a big help,” Kelly said.
The score was 21-8 following a 16-4 run by the Comets.
“I just think we weren’t reading the ball right tonight. We struggled a little bit with that,” Fulton libero Averi Leitzen said.
Kerrigan Enloe helped spark a four-point Fulton run with her serve with some inspired net play by Beiermann and Leonard. The Steamers cut their deficit to 11 before Newman regained the ball and closed in. Two late kills by Lesniewski and Leonard went to no avail as a match-point kill by Schmitt ended the contest 25-15.
Leonard and Lesniewski led the team hitting with six kills each. Beiermann dished out nine assists, with Jamie Huennekens, Leitzen and Lesniewski combining for 14 digs.