4-28-19 (Elizabeth) – Twelve NJ High School volleyball squads invaded Dunn Sports Center in Elizabeth Saturday with high hopes of bringing home Tournament honors. Seven top 50 ranked high school volleyball teams were present including Scotch Plains Fanwood (10-2) and Teaneck (10-1), both ranked in the top 20 in the most recent NJP ranking. In addition to SPF, Union County was well represented in the tournament with Union (8-1) and host Elizabeth (10-2) as well as the Summit, Linden, and Roselle Catholic teams joining the festivities.
Teaneck from the Big North Freedom division has had a great start to their year and slipped into the NJP top 20. The Highwayman’s only loss in regular season play was to #15 Passaic. SPF is also a top 20 team, with their only losses to #5 Ridge and #10 Colonia. Host Elizabeth is 10-2 and has stayed under the radar despite losing just two games to Union county foes Union and SPF.
Jefferson, from Morris County, leads the Northwest Jersey Division at 10-2 overall and was considered one of the favorites coming in. JP Stevens has had great success in the past few years but is currently sitting at 6-7 overall while taking tested in league games with higher caliber opponents in the GMC such as St. Joe’s Metuchen, Old Bridge, East Brunswick, and Colonia.
The Pools were split pretty evenly and as pool play commenced, SPF and Union dominated Pool A and JP Stevens and Teaneck excelled in Pool B both earning first round buys in the Gold Playoff round.
Jefferson powered through all takers winning all three matches in the Gold Playoffs and bringing home First Place. It was not an easy path as they needed to defeat both Union (semi’s) and SPF (finals). Piscataway had a great run earning entry into the Gold bracket and winning a trip to the semi’s by beating Summit.
The host team Elizabeth won the Silver playoff grid by defeating Teaneck and JP Stevens. It was a real solid showing for the Minutemen.
Jefferson continues to climb the rankings, currently at #36, and made a statement with this tournament victory. With just 2 weeks left before the state playoff cutoff date, things are heating up in NJ high school volleyball. Stay tuned to hear much more from these squads as county and state tournament’s take shape in May.