November 6, 2021 – By NJP

We are evaluating the games associated with Group 1 in this post. It includes all sections, gives analysis for the teams involved and projects what a next t round will look like as teams work toward a group championship after the sectional championship. Of the eight teams noted on this page, only one will enter the Tournament of Champions…


Bogota and Glen Rock matchup in the North 1 Group 1 final.

Bogota has had a sensational season in the NJIC and represents the cream of the crop for the conference. They have just two losses this season, the first coming to #1 Immaculate Heart Academy on opening day of the Fall season, and the second coming at the hands of Ridgewood in the Bergen County tournament semi-final. They have run the table on the rest of their schedule. The reason they are not higher in the NJP rankings is their strength of schedule. Unlike some of the very top teams, they have stayed close to home on their schedule and have gathered exposure to their stretch teams at the tournament level is unofficial and not included in the stats or current record. They have the biggest signature win of the season as they defeated #1 IHA just a few weeks ago, the only team to do that this season. They also have wins against Midland Park, Emerson, Secaucus, Ramapo and Leonia.

Bogota Players to Watch:

Ashanna Caviness and Mia Pimentel have been THE connection this season with Ashanna at the top of the state in kills and Mia in the same category for assists. Gyanna Hernandez has emerged as a front row threat as well and all three are 90% in the player rater with Ashanna and Mia being considered the best the state has to offer at the 99% plus individual rating. Angelina Butler and Helena Tobin are defensive gems for the Lady Bucs.

Glen Rock has been under the radar most of the season and has until recently, been ranked in the 50-100 level in the state. Their current rating at 20.1 leaves them almost 8 points per set under Bogota in this match-up. Their losses this season have been to Rutherford, Pascack Hills, Ramapo and Northern Highlands. They have signature wins over Midland Park (2x).

Glen Rock Players to Watch:

Hope Lageman is the go-to player for Glen Rock. The senior is a formidable player on the attack and on the block. She is a top 100 player in NJ and has the ability to steal games herself with her level of play, especially against equal or lower level teams. That will not be the case Tuesday. Glen Rock is a deeper team than most. They have very solid players at every starting position. With 6 players in the top 30% of the state, it gives you an idea of their depth. Setter Ericka Nerona is a strong playmaker and is just a sophomore. She will be a player to watch in this game as well as the next two season for the Panthers.


The key to the game for Bogota will be unleashing the firepower of Caviness and Hernandez on a team that averages just 1 block per set. If they can neutralize Lagemann’s attack, the Lady Bucs should be in a great position to breeze.

For Glen Rock, the Panthers need to dig, and dig hard. The foundation of their defense is keeping opponents attack in the air and they will have plenty of opportunity to do so on Tuesday facing one of the more lethal offenses in NJ. The Panthers also need to excel on the service line and pile up some aces to stay close and let Hope rock and roll up front.

The Predictor favors BOGOTA here in straight sets.



Rutherford and Verona matchup in the North 2 Group 1 final.

Rutherford opened the season 15-0 and surprised a lot of people, including NJP, with such a solid season. Their 23-3 record is stellar, but strength of schedule is holding them back in the overall NJP ratings and rankings. They have the #1 seed in this grid and have been performing well in the state playoff tourney thus far with two wins but both went three sets. Rutherford losses are to Leonia, Lyndhurst and Northern Highlands. All three are very good teams but they have not been tested by any top 25 teams this season. Their signature wins for the Fall season are Glen Rock, Secaucus, Emerson, Leonia, and St, Mary (Rutherford).

Rutherford Players to Watch:

The Bulldogs are fired by seniors Jocelyn Rodriguez and Harmony Marquez. Both players are considered part of the NJ elite. Junior Hannah Tobin has been a perfect quarterback for Rutherford this season and has utilized all of her weapons appropriately and strategically. Jocelyn has smashed over 200 kills this season and is in on most plays as she also is strong defensively. Marquez jumps in on the block and has populate 38 this Fall. Abigail Moller and Maya Forte jump into the attack as well.

Verona has had a solid season in the SEC with a 17-8 record. They have losses to Millburn, Governor Livingston, Livingston, Chatham, MKA, Caldwell, and Newark Academy. Their signature wins for the Fall are MSDA, Caldwell, Morris Catholic, Newark Academy, Columbia, Livingston and Cedar Grove. They have wondered outside the county a few times as noted by the Morris Catholic win and they also beat Cranford. They appear to get better through time as they avenged a number of earlier season losses.

Verona Players to Watch:

Verona has one of the best outside hitter in the North in junior Patricia Rakova. Rakova has over 200 kills this season and has been an overall standout. Marley Kramer and Kaitlyn McCaffrey set in the 6-2 scheme with Marley being considered in the top 10% of the state and Kaitlyn not too far behind. Ashley Duhaney has been outstanding defensively for the Hillbillies as she closes in on 250 digs for the season. Sydney Aiello has been a solid middle presence with almost 100 kills and 15 blocks. The team serves very well and has multiple players with over 25 aces.


The key to the game for Rutherford will be to leverage Tobin’s skill to spread the offense to both sides of their attack and feeding both Rodriguez and Marquez to keep the Hillbillies guessing. They need to outdig Verona and figure a way to keep Rakova off the scoresheet.

For Verona, giving Rakova the opportunity to take the game over will work in their favor. If she is on, Verona should prevail. If she struggles with hitting percentage, it will keep the Bulldogs close and give them opportunity to press the envelope. Verona has played stronger teams and despite being young, if they have the maturity to keep their momentum and spirit high, it could be a trophy getter.

The Predictor favors Verona in an intense three set match.



Hoboken and Dayton matchup in the Central Group 1 final.

Hoboken has been the biggest turnaround team in the state for the Fall season. The Redwings mustered just one win over the past two season and they find themselves now playing in a state sectional championship. It’s just an amazing turnaround, and win or loss here, the team seems well suited for success in the next few year in Hudson County. After winning their first 4 games and 6 of their first 7, the Redwings have kept up the pace to get the #1 seed in the tournament. They have lost to Dickinson, Ferris, Hudson Catholic, Union City, St. Dominic’s, Harrison and Weehawken. Their big wins have been against Ferris, Dickinson, and McNair.

Hoboken Players to Watch:

This is a super young squad fueled by new energy coming into the program this year. Twin sister freshman Morgan and Madison Walia Peters have been welcome additions and have solid club experience at Brooklyn Elite before coming to NJ. Sophomore Kayla Zagarra has been very strong this season leading Hoboken in digs and kills. Senior Sophia Boyajian has anchored the middle and presents a scoring threat on every play.

Dayton has a very young team as well. With just one senior, they also are destined for a solid season next Fall. Dayton’s losses this season are to Roselle Catholic, SPF, Union Catholic, Union, Cranford, and Summit. They beat Roselle Catholic, Columbia and Harrison. In the Union County tournament, they took Union Catholic to three sets. Union Catholic just knocked Hudson Catholic out of the non-public state tourney so that was a big performance by the Bulldogs.

Dayton Players to Watch:

Kennedy Kwinta is the lone senior on the squad and has been an excellent setter for the Bulldogs. You may remember her brother Tyler who is currently playing for D1 college volleyball for Sacred Heart University and also played at Warren Six Pack. Kennedy is solid and has some nice players to feed on the offensive attack. Sam Janker has had a great season with 100 kills and Meghan Kreinberg, Kate Sousa and Sophie Abramovitz are key targets. Adriana Rivera and Michele Saverino anchor the defense. 53 aces for Kreinberg puts her in in the top quartile for servers.


Dayton has a 6 point per set advantage per the NJP Predictor algorithm. In games where there is a 5 or more point differential in rating points, NJP has seen a 95% win rate this season. For Hoboken to win, they basically have to dig everything in sight. Hoboken does not have a formidable block and they will be hard pressed to contain the Dayton attack. If the youngsters can play at the top of their game, the Redwings can take this.

For Dayton, they need to settle in to their normal game and pace. If they get into a rhythm early, this one will go in two sets.

The NJP Predictor favors Dayton on the road despite the wonderful Cinderella story of the Redwings…



Delaware Valley and Point Pleasant Beach matchup in the South Group 1 final.

Delaware Valley started the season at 7-0 and has accumulated an 18-3 record for the season thus far. They have losses to Mount St. Mary, Ridge, and North Hunterdon, all very good teams with North Hunterdon a top 10 team all season. Their signature wins are against Notre Dame, Hopewell Valley, and Mount St. Mary. They put up 23 in one set against Ridge.

Delaware Valley Players to Watch:

Setter Sky Ohler has been awesome at spreading the attack and utilizing the DV talent.. Abigail Hayth, Emily Kraynanski and Madison Cobb are all offensive assets on the attack. Brooke Gatley has been scrappy on D and has over 150 digs. Freshman Abbey Bivona has been a solid player as a freshman and Zoe Blomgren has played key minutes and provided senior leadership.

Point Pleasant Beach has loaded up the schedule playing 30 matches thus far and yielding 23 wins in those matches. They also have had 13 matches go three sets so they have gotten plenty of reps coming in to state playoffs. They have lost to Barnegat, Toms River South, Wall, TRE, Freehold Borough, Trinity Hall, and St. Rose. Their signature wins are St. Rose, Marlboro, Freehold Borough, and Florence in the semi-finals.

Point Pleasant Beach Players to Watch:

Ella Dafeldecker has been very strong on the attack for PPB this season. The team plays a 6-2 and have 2 strong setters in Nicole Nase and Grace Frauenheim. Sophomore Grace Wolfsohn has been a nice surprise as an underclassman and has been a terror on the service line with 73 recorded aces. Carly Napolitano runs the defense.


Delaware Valley is about 6 points ahead in the team rater per set. They have taken on much stronger teams throughout the season and have a higher point differential as well. DV dominates in all of the statistical categories except aces. PPB is going to have to use this weapon to their advantage and string points together based on their serving prowess. If one or two other players can step up on the attack and Dafeldecker has a lights out game, this one could be close.

NJP likes Delaware Valley here in straight sets.


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