May 13, 2021 – By NJP

Tomorrow is the State Cutoff date. For this season, it’s a bit less of a deal with the policy being changed. Now it will just represent the last game to build your resume for seeding purposes. One of the big decisions to make by the committee this year is is the actual full sectional seeding. There are 4 sectionals, North 1, North 2, Central, and South. So how do we seed the four sectionals to create the most appropriate State Final. Here is some data on how NJP views the subject…

We took a look at the NJP ratings of the top teams in each sectional. They are broken down in the table below for top team, top 3 teams, top 5 teams and top 10 teams.

The next table summarizes the ranking of each of the sectionals:

So from our perspective, Central is the deepest and highest rated sectional group. They would be number one in virtually every category if CBA was .02 points higher in Sunday’s rating. It is clear that in our analysis, North 1 is the weakest of the 4 groups as they rank fourth across the board. North 2 and South are a virtual toss up and it would not really matter as they play each other anyway in the traditional 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3 scenario. Love to hear everyone elses comments…

It’s time for tonight’s inner look…

It looks like the SEC tournament started today. Here is our ranking for the Super Essex Conference as of Sunday…

NJP believes that one of the top 3 teams noted have a 95% plus chance of winning. We also observe that Livingston is two full rating points better than East Side and Payne, leaving them as the clear favorites. Some highlights from Round 1… Bloomfield edged Irvington in three sets, Millburn beat West Essex, East orange defeated West Orange, Newark Tech topped Montclair, Payne Tech beat Science Park, Livingston downed Immaculate, and Belleville took down Orange. The grid is available at the SEC website at

Let’s start with the Union Farmer’s effort tonight against the Bridgewater Raritan Panthers. This game was not on the master schedule last night but the Predictor would have certainly favored the #18 Panthers over #34 Union. We confirmed with two different sources that these stats are correct as we found them almost unbelievable. But a big round of applause for Nathaniel Odusanya from Union. He took control of this match, especially in the third set, with a dominating performance for the Farmers. He tallied 13 blocks in the match as well as 15 kills at middle. If Nathaniel wasn’t in the lineup today, we would be reveling about the performance of Alex Boulin who had 9 kills and 8 blocks. Union blew out BR in the final set 25-9. Union kept their energy the entire match and make a statement to move up in the rankings as we approach tomorrow’s cutoff. Union is now 11-2.

After losing a set to #5 Jackson Memorial earlier this week, #3 Southern turned up the heat and handled the Jaguars 25-16, 25-15 today. Again the Rams used 12 players in the match today as they have all year, getting reps that make them so deep for the upcoming playoff run. 9 kills from Ben Fryc from the Jaguars in defeat.

#7 Kearny was handed their first loss of the season today, in a close straight set match with #12 Fair Lawn. Great game by Itay Akad who blasted 15 kills and 3 blocks for the Cutters. Gil Zyndorf orchestrated the offensive charge today with 27 assists, 4 digs, a block, and three kills. As usual, you will see Fair Lawn start to excel as we approach the playoffs.

#13 Hillsborough edged #15 East Brunswick in three sets today. The Bears took the first set and Boro charged back to take the next two. Vin Shah with another masterful performance with 21 kills and three aces. Jack Freese had 4.5 blocks and 5 kills. They have been a lethal combination all year. The difference in this match was the block with the Raiders putting up 18 to the Bears 5. Aaron Zhu and Sean Spring had 7 kills for EB and Kush Oza had 24 assists.

The CBA 7 all had solid performances for the #2 Colts as they had an easier time with Marlboro today at home and won in straight sets. Stevens with 29 assists, Dooling with 10 kills, Doehner and Mayeregger with 4 blocks and 4 kills each, Crosby with 10 digs, Kwapniewski with 8 kills and 3 blocks and Sasso with 3 kills and 4 digs. Seven talented players that are driving the success of one of the top teams in the state. You might call them the “Magnificent Seven”.

Washington Township appears to be back on track as they are now 6-3 and building momentum as they down 11-3 Gloucester Tech today in three sets. Anthony Trivers and Ian Hermanson are heating up and Tyler Jones is just getting started. Jones put up 37 assists, Trivers added 13 kills and 3 blocks, Hermanson delivered 10 kills and 2 blocks, and Connor Teeple had 9 kills and a block. Dan Chernik had a great game as well with 5 kills and 4 blocks. 20 digs from Ryan Crowley.

Colts Neck is now 8-3 as they down RBC in Red Bank 25-21, 25-21. Eastern is now 11-2 as they disposed of Pennsauken at home. Jackson Liberty is now 8-4 after beating Barnegat. Dollir Churyumov with 20 assists and 2 aces for the Lions. Pope John won again today and are now 5-1 as they take down a stubborn first year team in Randolph. Ridge manhandled Summit in straight sets and is now 6-6. #1 SPF beat Piscataway in straight sets, but almost lost their set unbeaten streak in the second set which went 26-24. Piscataway has been close in so many games this year against some top teams but remain winless.

And lastly, #8 Hunterdon Central and #11 Rancocas Valley faced off today at Central. Both of these teams have been outstanding this season as indicated by their rank. The Red Devils prevailed in a very tight first set 25-23 and then rode the momentum to a straight set victory. Another solid team effort for HC as they continue to get contributions from all players on the floor.

We will be again doing our clips of the year contest starting next week. Get your best clips of you playing high school this season and send them to or even better, send us link from youtube. We will load up the best of the best and let the fans vote on the best clip of the year. Remember, high school volleyball videos only! More to come…

The season has sped by… County and state playoffs are almost here. Take the time to enjoy every second of your games in the upcoming days… take pictures, laugh with your teammates, and have some fun on the court. It is a season to remember and these memories will last a lifetime. For seniors, take pride in your senior nights and relish the opportunity to be in the spotlight. These memories you are creating will be with you for a very long time… for you… and your family.

In the spirit of our Pay-it-foward week at NJP… here is some inpiration…

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