September 19, 2023
Let’s go around the league tonight and drop in on the happenings across the state:
There were 643 games on the schedule tonight (just kidding, but it was a lot). Many influenced the NJP top 20 that will dropping this weekend.
We are going to start in the Skyland Conference where Hillsborough knocked off Bridgewater Raritan in straight sets. Aileen Xu had 15 kills and 10 digs for the Raiders as they improved to 4-0. Junior Neha Tolpadi keeps getting better as the season progresses. Tonight she knocked down 7 kills (her highest mark of the year), and 9 digs. 26 assists for sophomore setter Cynthia Lei, who wears the lucky #13. She has just under 100 assists in just 4 matches this season.
North Hunterdon may be the best 1-7 team in the state of NJ after dropping a heartbreaker to rival Hunterdon Central 25-23, 27-25. The Red Devils improved to 6-2 but North has played one of the toughest schedules thus far of any team.
Abby Wolfe, Julia Gawel, and Kasey Trzaska continued their outstanding play this season as East Brunswick smothered JP Stevens 25-15, 25-11. The Bears are now 6-0 and quietly making their mark in the GMC as one of the teams to beat. EB remains ahead of both Old Bridge and Monroe who duked it out in OB tonight. Old Bridge came away with a win against the Falcons to improve to 4-1, but the bigger story emerging from the Knights camp is the play of freshman Ashley Markle. The beach volleyball star has hit the hardcourt strong and is making her mark. Tonight she put down 10 kills, the highest total of her career. But we think she is just scratching the surface of what is yet to come from this first-year. Ashley has accumulated 35 kills, 21 digs, and 6 aces in just 5 matches. She is one of the top players to watch this season in the GMC.
It took Bogota 3 sets to get by a tough Saddle Brook squad to improve to 4-1. Bogota has had such a dominant program over these past years but this year they are lacking the depth and firepower of previous Buccaneers teams. With only one senior on the squad, this could be a rougher ride. And worth mentioning was a really impressive outing by Saddle Brook senior Francesca Accetta who smashed 15 kills, 2 aces, and a block in the loss. The three varsity sport star is logging some massive numbers so far for the Falcons.
Mount St. Dominic Academy improved to 4-2 on the season after a tight two set win over Caldwell. Nice to see senior Izzy Rivera record her 1,000th career assist. MSDA will face some tests in the next three games with matches against Verona and 2 against undefeated Livingston. They have already sustained losses to Livingston and Millburn but the season is still young and the next three games will be telling for the Lions future.
Southern dropped their first set of the season and were pressed by NJP top 10 team Washington Township, but survived a 20-25, 27-25, 25-21 win. Bryn Bautista had 19 kills and Nina Cleary had 31 assists for WT but it wasn’t enough to upset NJP’s #1 team. Jessica Smart may have been the difference in this one as she smoked kills and 2 blocks to go along with Jordyn Hamlin’s 12 kills and 8 digs, and Molly Regulski’s 30 assists for the 9-0 Rams.
Notre Dame improved to 5-2 with a dominant performance over Hopewell Valley. Our post cover girl Cassady Smith ripped 8 kills and Maia Cinca notched 5, to lead the Irish attack.
Lygas and Bobetich, the fantastic Princeton underclassman duo, combined for 17 kills to pace the Tigers to a straight set win over Northern Burlington. Princeton is now 8-0!
Secaucus is now 6-0 powered by 7 kills from Sofia Guzman, 14 digs from Avalyn Torres, 19 assists from Amaya Ocasio, and 2 blocks each from Angelina Fitzgerald and Olivia Jasiczek in a dominant win over Rutherford.