April 18th, 2022

The NJ boys high school volleyball season is in full swing, and moving fast, as some teams are already through almost half of their regular season schedule. We continue to gather more and more data that will give insights into how county tournaments will most probably shape up as well as indications on state playoff caliber teams. We posted an updated rating and ranking this afternoon so let’s jump into some of the observations…

Southern and Scotch Plains Fanwood have absolutely emerged as the teams to beat this season. The new updated rankings are at this LINK. Both teams are in top form through the first three weeks of play. Southern was 9-0 as of Sunday and SPF was 12-0. They are playing strong schedules and have high margins of victory, a deadly combination for ranking success.

Just 4 teams have yet to lose a set this season. One of those teams is Southern at an 18-0 set record. The other three are a bit more surprising and are indications that take notice. Bergenfield is 3-0 and comes in at #17 in the NJP rankings. They are 6-0 in sets. They will play Teaneck on the 26th and we will see if the streak will stay in tact until then with a rather light schedule strength ahead but strong point differential at the second highest in NJ at 10.5/set. PCTI is 7-0 and has won 14 straight sets, earning them the #20 spot in the rankings currently. Their streak was disrupted tonight as Wayne Hills wrecked the unbeaten set streak and well as PCTI’s undefeated season. The Knights of West Essex are also undefeated so far this season with 12 straight set wins and a 6-0 record. West Essex schedule has certainly been light on opponent schedule strength but they are winning by almost 10 points/set. Newark Eastside will be a test for them on the 22nd.

CBA and new head coach Jason Ulrich sustained their first ;loss to Southern tonight. It was a close encounter and we expect the Colts to surely be a top 10 squad this season.

So yes, Old Bridge has lost 4 games over the past week. The 3-time defending champs are by no means on the downturn. They have been playing the very best the state has to offer and going three sets in the losses, with the final matches being decided by just a few points. It is a major statement on the parity in NJ boys high school volleyball as many teams outside of the top 20 last season have stepped up their game. The tough schedule early on will only make this team stronger come playoff time. Despite the drop to #8, the Knights will be lurking and ready to pounce.

SPF added to their 2022 resume tonight with a convincing straight set win over league rival Union. We do not see the Raiders losing a game in Union County this season. Watching the advancement of junior outside hitter Jeremy Zimmerman has been so impactful in an already potent line-up of talent including junior setter Nick Schmidt, junior Zach Chung at libero, and sophomore outside Tim Ennis. Throw in some talented seniors like Reese Condon, Amir Johnson, Brodie Robertson, and Aidan Heifetz, and you have the makings of a team that can truly dominate this season.

We have added a “notes” column to the ranking presentation so you can see some ranking thoughts and comments on many teams (not ALL teams).

A few other notes outside of the boys season…

Shoutout to the young ladies at SilverHammer 15’s as they have risen to #1 in their club division. Almost all “Southern Regional”, the Rams will continue to be strong with youthful additions this Fall.

Congratulations to Wyette Shubert-Brown from Seneca class of 2022 on her commitment to play D2 volleyball at Caldwell University….

Bayonne senior Alex Zinkevich has committed to play D1 volleyball for the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights this Fall…

A few senior girl announcements… all of these former NJP player interview club members are headed to college careers on the volleyball court… Congrats to Mary, Mariella, Annabelle and Poppy…

Mary Huegel (Colts Neck) D3 Gettysburg College
Mariella Hilyard (Mount Saint Mary’s) D3 Colby College
Annabelle He (Ridgewood) D1 Tulane University
Poppy Skjonnamend (Mendham) D2 Southern Connecticut State

Also for the boys, Mike Tribiani from Old Bridge has selected Drew University as his next stop for his academic and athletic college careers… Good luck Mike!!!

Also, we are using our special “prognostication abilities” (LOL) to take a look at where these current NJ high school volleyball stars might be heading…

This first young man is a tower of strength currently at Hillsborough and it sounds like the Kean University Cougars will benefit from his expertise this Fall…

And this central jersey star has two state championships under his belt at Old Bridge and it looks like he may be headed to Rutgers in Newark to join the Top 5 Scarlet Raiders…

Can you identify these two gems on the court??? Email us at njpowerranking@gmail.com if you know!!!

And congratulations to Wentworth’s Hunter Oshman (Hopewell Valley), Josh Milke (Rancocas Valley) and Connor Adams (Mount Olive) for making the final 4 and earning a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin for the D3 championship. Wentworth will join NJ’s Steven’s Tech, Springfield, and defending champs Carthage in the final tourney.

Also, be sure to send us any commitment announcements, club news, high school notes, or other relevant information for posting consideration. Have a great week.

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