November 3, 2021 – By NJP

Greeting NJ volleyball fans and players…

Great night of high school volleyball on Wednesday with top teams advancing to the semi-finals in the larger groups 3 and 4. In our blog last night, we projected 8 matches that we thought could be upset candidates. Upsets being defined as the lower seed beating the higher seed. The NJP rating formula went 29-2 and picked 4 of the upsets and 5 of the 8 potential underdog wins. For Wednesday, the Seed win-loss (meaning the record of the higher seed in the match) was 25-6 on the night. So far, for the entire tournament to date, higher seeds have won 92 of 119 matches. NJP has won 104 of 119 matches based on the rating system and the Predictor algorithm. Higher seed at 77.3% vs. 87.4% for NJP. The 87 win percentage is consistent with the 86+ percentage achieved by NJP this Fall season.

For Thursday’s massive schedule, we will take a look at some of the potential upset candidates as well. Thursday will be semi-final matches starting in Groups 1 and 2 as well the non-public grids getting underway in both A & B grids. This will be the last time we have a schedule of this volume for the Fall season. The year is winding down with less than ten days left in all teams season except the 5 going to the TOC.

It is just so unfortunate that River Dell and Demarest are playing each other this early in the tournament. They are 2 of the finest teams in NJ. And clearly top 5 teams in the state. But one will be headed home after tomorrow with a season cut too short. #3 Demarest is the favorite with just one loss all season. River Dell has lost three games, one to #1 IHA and the other 2 to Demarest. Demarest has matched up well against the Hawks limiting them to 17 at best in 4 sets. We expect them to win here but hate to see River Dell not having this match as a Final rather than a semi.

For Thursday, we have gone through the grid and have the following potential upset candidates:

In North 1, Group 1, the NJP algorithm favors the #7 seed Midland Park over the #2 seed Glen Rock. It’s a slim margin but we think MP has a good chance of knocking out the #2 seed. Paige Tuozzo is just a great player on both the attack and the block. Balala on the defensive line and Shortway setting the table gives them a real chance.

In North 2, Group 2, Montville and Lyndhurst are a toss-up according to the NJP math. NJAC has proven they are a deep division and can surprise anyone. Montville is the #6 seed but a team to watch on Thursday!

In Central, Group 1, McNair and #1 Hoboken are also mathematically, a dead heat. NJP favors Hoboken by a razors edge, but this will be a great matchup.

In South, Group 1, NJP has Florence and #2 Point Pleasant in a dead heat with the slightest of edge to Florence for the upset. Certainly a possibility for #3 to take #2 and it’s not that big a stretch by seed.

In round 1 games in the non-public grids, NJP would be surprised if we had any updates here. But we also are cognizant that it is likely to have at least one. So stay tuned.

Good luck to all the players tomorrow…

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Coming soon… Men’s NJ College Pre-season reports!

1,000 of anything is a lot. But when it represents career kills for New Jersey high school volleyball, it is something VERY special. Congratulations to Kate Stoughton of Brick Memorial on this fantastic achievement.

Kate was one of our first interviews a few years back and she was kind enough to give us a try when she didn’t have to. It was a telling sign for a young lady that is caring and gives back, especially when it’s for a game that she loves.

We wish her the best of luck next year at Long Beach when she hits the beach, a very familiar place for her, and give D1 college beach volleyball her best shot.

We know she is going to do AMAZING!!!

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