October 11, 2021 – By NJP
We are just a week away from the state cutoff and we are going to start tonight with a quick tournament review with several county grids moving toward conclusion.
Eight teams remain in Bergen County with some fantastic match-up in one of the most dominant divisions. Immaculate Heart Academy will match up again in the quarter final. These teams opened the season against each other which resulted in Bogota’s only loss of the season. IHA was dominant in their first match and we expect this match to be closer but IHA prevailing.
Demarest and IHA are both teams without a set loss this season. Old Tappan has cranked it up as of late but the Norseman just have too much talent in our estimation. River Dell vs Pascack Valley pits two very solid teams against each other. River Dell has only lost to #1 IHA and #2 Demarest this season and we expect them to prevail here in a tight match. Northern Highland vs. Ridgewood is the most intriguing match and can certainly go either way. Highlands will look to avenge an earlier season loss to the Maroons and despite a six game win streak, have dropped sets to both Fair Lawn and Indian Hills. NJP gives the slight edge to Ridgewood.
NJP projects that both IHA and Demarest will advance to the finals no matter who they play. Both have been dominant teams all season and are our clear #1 and #2 in NJ. If this match materializes, you will not want to miss it! Demarest is the real deal and will match up well vs IHA.
We are down to 8 teams in the Morris County tournament an have some really great quarterfinal matchups on tap. If we asked you the question… who has the overall best record in the NJAC? How would you answer without looking it up? Sparta? Roxbury, Mendham? The answer is actually the Jefferson Falcons at 14-2. Emily Carcich, Mackenzie Rock, Dom Hartman, Gianna Favata, and Maggie Gesek & Co. are riding a 6 game win streak into their quarter final game against the #5 seed Morris Knolls. We give them the edge over Knolls.
NJP favors Roxbury to get by Madison and Mendham to prevail over Montville. West Morris Central has been playing very well and we expect them to get by Mount Olive.
We expect this will result in a Roxbury vs. Jefferson matchup and a Mendham vs West Morris Central. NJP favors Mendham over Roxbury in three sets for the final.
Kent Place has been the best team in Union County all season. See our prior analysis at this link: https://njpowerranking.com/2021/10/08/union-county-tournament-analysis/
There is a long way to go in this tournament as first round matches are still underway. NJP favors MKA overall in this grid with Verona and Livingston as potential threats. MSDA is another team that we feel could make it through to the semi’s.
SUSSEX COUNTY – WARREN COUNTY – SKYLAND COUNTY
Eleven teams from three counties are participating in the tri-county tournament. Sparta and North Hunterdon are clear favorites in NJP’s projections to reach the finals. Currently, Sparta and North Hunterdon are separated by just 5 hundredths of a rating point. So we will hold on our selection until the night of the game.
NJP loves Kent Place’s chances in the Prep Tournament. there are very strong teams in the grid including MKA, Lawrenceville, Newark Academy, Trinity Hall and Mount Saint Mary. But Kent Place is much higher rated and we expect them to cruise.
Some quick facts from our weekend analysis of player statistics…
There are 3,187 players with some form of statistics this season. There are other players that are on rosters that have yet to attain a stat. There are also about 12% of the teams that do not participate in sharing player stats. When you factor in JV and freshman teams, we estimate that there are over 6,000 players at the high school level in NJ.
There are 1,255 seniors, 1,108 juniors, 573 sophomores, and 163 freshman. 88 players have unknown grad years.
Seniors represent 39% of all players, juniors 35%, soph’s 18%, and freshman 5%.
Our ranking #4 was launched yesterday. Link at https://njpowerranking.com/2021/10/10/njp-ranking-4-10-10-for-girls-high-school-volleyball-in-new-jersey/
NJP’s standings and rankings for division, conference, sectional and groups at https://njpowerranking.com/2021/10/10/girls-hs-volleyball-standings-and-division-conference-group-sectional/
The NJP Overall Player Rater was also updated at https://njpowerranking.com/2021/10/11/njp-player-rater-10-10/
The Predictor algorithm continues to provide accurate game predictions averaging an 86% win rate. The locks of the night picks are currently 143 for 144 or 99.3%.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s schedule…
#19 Donovan Catholic came from behind today after losing the first set, to fend off the Southern Rams and improve to 15-1 on the season. 31 assists from Laine Kulpinski set the tone for the Griffins and she set up Maddy Oehme (12 kills) and Dana Welch (11 kills) on a strong offensive charge. Kennedy Austin and Sydney Wacha combined for 23 digs for Donovan. Jordyn Hamlin lead the Rams with 11 kills.
River Dell has just been outstanding all season in the Big North. Alicia Idiculla smashed 11 kills and 2 aces and Erin McCabe added 7 kills and 3 blocks and the Hawks defeated a very good Ramsey squad in straight sets. River Dell’s only 2 losses are to the top 2 teams in NJ.
Princeton had their 8 game win streak snapped by Lawrenceville today as they lost in straight sets to Big Red. Lawrenceville is now 10-3 on the season and is getting ready to ramp it up for the Prep Tournament which they received the #6 seed. Lawrenceville was led by Jalia Dublin who posted 8 kills and 2 blocks, and Nyla Mucius who had 3 blocks and 5 kills.
The wait is over for Morris Catholic and they now have their star transfer Fiona North in the lineup as of the end of last week. Fiona has hit the ground running, already adding 29 kills, 29 digs and 3 blocks in her three matches. The junior posted 8 kills and 16 digs today as the Crusaders upended Pascack Hills. Sofia Mattingly had 17 assists and 4 kills, Emma Fiorella had 4 aces and 3 blocks, Ali Guzzardo added 5 kills for the winners. Expect Morris Catholic to outperform their rating in the next two weeks.
Demarest and IHA cruised to easy wins today to keep their unbeaten streak as well as the “no set lost” streaks alive. Demarest defeated Teaneck and IHA disposed of DePaul.
Paul VI continued trying to up it’s game against some of the premier East Pennsylvania high school teams as they beat Cardinal O’Hara in 5 sets. Sadie Arasim and Zharia Harris-Waddy has spectacular performances for the Eagles. Arasim posted 18 kills, 15 digs and 3 aces while Zharia had 10 kills, 5 blocks and 5 aces.
Verona outlasted Livingston in 3 sets as they prepare for a potential match-up in the Essex County tournament. Livingston is now 12-3 and Verona improved to 12-6.
Despite a ton of great performances tonight, the one that stands out for us is junior Malvina Sullivan of Old Bridge. Old Bridge takes a straight set victory over higher seeded Washington Township. Sullivan took things into her own hands by scorching 12 kills and adding 13 digs as well as an ace. Just an awesome all-around performance in an upset win. Congrats Malvina!
80+ games on the schedule for the Tuesday night predictor at… https://njpowerranking.com/2021/10/12/njp-predictor-game-selections-for-tuesday-10-12/