Pinelands Falls in State Girls Volleyball Tournament Quarterfinals

Southern, Barnegat Seasons Over Too
Nov 08, 2017

The 2017 New Jersey high school girls volleyball season is over for the three teams of Southern Ocean County.

Barnegat, seeded 28th, went one-and-done in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 2 Tournament, falling to Tenafly, the five-seed, 0-2, on Halloween.

The Bengals, a young team hoping to reach the level of play the program had in 2013 through 2015 when it made two trips to the state Group 2 semifinals and another to the state tourney quarterfinals, never found their footing this season and ended with an 8-12 record.

Southern Regional, seeded seventh in the NJSIAA Group 4 Tournament, rolled over Columbia, the 26-seed, in the opening round, winning 25-11, 25-12. But the Rams were upset by Clifton, the 23-seed, in the second round, suffering a 19-25, 25-15, 25-27 loss. Clifton apparently was flying under the radar when the tournament brackets were formed considering it finished its season with a perfectly respectable 18-9 record and took Cherokee, seeded second in the Group 4 Tournament, to three sets in the tourney’s third round.

Southern finished its 2017 campaign with a 25-7 record, an A South divisional crown, and came within one point of reaching the Shore Conference Tournament championship match.

The team that beat out Southern in the SCT semis and went on to win the Shore Conference Tournament title was Pinelands Regional. And it looked as if the Wildcats would make a similarly impressive run in the NJSIAA Group 2 Tournament.

The ’Cats proved to be a horror show for Pleasantville, the tourney’s 26-seed, in the opening round match on Halloween, winning 25-14, 25-11. They were almost as scary two days later when they roughed up Rumson-Fair Haven, the tourney’s 10-seed, 25-15, 25-14.

But River Dell, the tournament’s two-seed, unmasked Pinelands in the quarterfinals with a decisive 25-15, 25-10 win.

Still, it was a successful season for Pinelands, only playing its fourth season of varsity volleyball. The ’Cats not only won the aforementioned Shore Conference Tournament but were B South co-champs along with Monsignor Donovan and finished with a sparkling 26-4 record.  —R.M.


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