November 4, 2021 – By NJP

Hey NJ Volleyball Fans!!!

Quite an evening of NJ high school volleyball. Tonight, we saw one of the top 5 teams in NJ eliminated from the state tournament. And to most of our surprise, it was the Demarest Lady Norsemen. The River Dell Golden Hawks disposed of Demarest tonight in three sets. In their previous two meet-ups this season, River Dell fell short in both and could not muster more than 17 points in any of the 4 sets. River Dell lost to #1 Immaculate Heart earlier in the season, but other than those games, they ran the table. They came in at #5 in the NJP rankings, so it was certainly not crazy that a #5 beat a #3. But this match seemed better suited for a TOC match-up rather than a group semi-final. And alas, we will not see a match between IHA and Demarest this season. Which is a shame.

But let’s reinforce just how good the Golden Hawks are this season. They have peaked at the absolute best time and will now focus on their North 1, group 2 championship match. We expected them to face NJAC power Sparta, but they were eliminated tonight by Old Tappan. It’s funny how the traditional and perennial leaders rise back to the top at this time of year. NJP has installed River Dell as a slight favorite over Old Tappan for next Tuesday’s big game. But that comes from the Predictor that was 0-2 in the semi finals for this grid. A coin flip may do better than us tonight.

Old Tappan has an outstanding player in Jola Olutiola. River Dell has a standout player as well in Alicia Idiculla. We know both teams will leverage their leaders in this match but every player will have an influence on the outcome. Both teams are deep in talent, well coached, and will be ready to drop arms.

All of the “Bracketology” has been updated for the public grids. Only the wins and losses are updated for the non-public grid. We will focus on that tomorrow morning. There was one big surprise on the non-public grid as Hudson Catholic was eliminated by Union Catholic tonight. Hats off and kudos to UC. We certainly thought the Hawks were destined for a couple of more games. Maybe the Westfield loss gave us some foreshadowing but before that, we don’t think Hudson saw losing as a possibility.

Horrific night for the NJP Predictor as we were 10-6 in the semi’s and 10-2 in the non-public first rounds. Still at 84%+ for the tournament but hoping to rebound tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s Grid represents semi-final matches for Group 3 and Group 4 teams. Any thing can happen in the semi-finals as we have learned tonight. Some really talented teams had their season end tonight and tomorrow will be no different.

NJP is showing upset candidates for the following games:

Central Group 3 – We see both games as upset candidates as we favor Brick Memorial over Iselin Kennedy and #7 Colts Neck over Northern Burlington. UPDATE: Brick Memorial wins 2-1, Colts Neck wins 2-0

Central Group 4 – Hunterdon Central is favored by NJP at #6 to take #2 Old Bridge. UPDATE: Old Bridge wins 2-0

South Group 3 – Again, NJP has both semi-finals as potential for upset favoring both Mainland and Toms River South. UPDATE: TRE wins over Mainland, TRS wins!

UPDATE: NJP Picks 3 of 5 upsets!

Good luck to all the players tomorrow…

Don’t forget to get your entry together for the NJP Clip of the Year contest… Deadline is Sunday!!! More info at

And we are starting to populate submission for viewing at

USA Today update on National and Group 2 rankings at

New player interview on Erin Gretsky of St. John Vianney at

The latest bracketology updates will be updated all night long tomorrow at

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

Thanks to all and good night…

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