Sports Roundup

Southern Regional Volleyball Squad Ousts Fair Lawn to Win Invitational Title

May 02, 2018
Courtesy of: Southern Athletics

Two weeks ago, it seemed the Southern Regional boys volleyball team was unbeatable. That changed late last week, when the Rams lost not only once, but twice – on the same day, no less.

Well, the Rams answered the wake-up call on April 28, as they first knocked off Shore Conference foe Colts Neck and then bounced Fair Lawn, in a rematch of last year’s state championship, to capture the Southern Invitational title. It was the 11th time the Rams have won their tournament during the past 17 seasons.

In the Rams’ first contest of the tournament, they scored a 25-14, 18-25, 25-15 win over the Cougars. Behind co-MVP Matt Maxwell’s 32 assists, four digs, four blocks and two aces, Arvind Kumar delivered 14 kills and eight digs, while Zak Hem recorded 11 kills and the other MVP, Shane Bent, mustered eight kills and two blocks.

During the final, Southern (19-2) scored a 25-20 win over the Cutters in the first game, followed by a 25-15 drubbing in the second. Bent led the offensive onslaught with nine kills, while Hem and Danny Maurus each delivered five kills. Hem and Joe Exel each had a pair of blocks, Kumar managed six digs, and Maxwell tallied 26 assists and three digs.

A day earlier, things weren’t so rosy for the Rams, as they dropped a 15-25, 23-25 contest against Old Bridge (15-2), followed by a 19-25, 25-23, 23-25 loss to undefeated Bridgewater-Raritan (11-0). Against Old Bridge, Kumar scored four kills and four digs, while Bent, Hem and Maurus each knocked down three kills, and Maxwell gave out 12 assists. In a much tighter match against Bridgewater-Raritan, Hem smacked 14 kills and Bent hammered 10, while Matt Jones came up with 14 digs, and Maxwell tallied 29 assists, 10 digs and three aces.

Pinelands Softball Teams
Turns Things Around

After losing to Jackson Liberty in the quarterfinals of the Ocean County Tournament on April 19, things looked a bit bleak for the Pinelands Regional softball team. Sure, the Wildcats were without their seniors, including Manhattan-bound pitcher Jessie Rising, for that game, because they were enjoying their senior trip.

But at 4-6 at the time, Pinelands was in need of a turnaround if the Shore Conference Tournament and a decent spot in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group III sectional were to be in its future. Rising and company made sure the turnaround began last week.

After scorching Shore Conference Class B South foe Lakewood in a doubleheader on April 23, the Wildcats ripped off three more victories, including a pair of solid wins in the annual Hammonton tournament, pushing themselves back over the .500 mark. On Monday, Pinelands finished April with a 1-0 victory over Liberty, as Rising fired a two-hitter and Alyssa Rodriguez’s single in the fifth inning scored Ally Vezos with the only run of the contest. Rising struck out 12.

During the Hammonton tourney two days earlier, the Wildcats (9-6) started off with a 5-0 win over Gloucester Catholic, as Rising gave up just four hits. Pinelands scored once in the second, added a run in the fourth and tallied three in the fifth to seal the victory. Later in the day, Pinelands scored two runs each in three of the first four innings en route to a 6-5 victory over Rancocas Valley. Brianna Suralik led the offense by going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, while Rising delivered a run-scoring double and Vezos added a hit and an RBI. Rising scattered 10 hits, fanned eight and walked just one batter.

With the qualifying deadline for the state tourney drawing closer, the Wildcats on April 29 sat in the seventh spot for power points (217) in South Jersey III, within 10 points of Deptford (227) and Mainland (226) and eight ahead of Gloucester Tech (209). Pinelands will need to maintain a record of .500 or better by May 11, when the qualifying deadline arrives for the SCT.

Southern Girls Lacrosse Squad
Has Streak Ended

The Southern Regional girls lacrosse squad started the season 0-2 before finding their scoring touch and going on a seven-game winning streak, culminating with a solid, 12-11 win over Jackson Memorial on April 24. Unfortunately, the Rams (7-4) had their streak snapped with a 10-9 loss to Brick a few days later and then dropped a 12-8 contest to Brick Memorial on Monday.

Still, the Rams are in a much better state than they were in early April, and have a realistic chance of not only making the Shore Conference Tournament, which is scheduled to be seeded May 3, but also getting a decent seed for the South Jersey Group IV tourney, scheduled for qualifying cutoff on May 12.

Against the Jaguars, Colleen Mason fired in three goals and gave out an assist, while Maitland Demand, Carmella Hall, Alex Mattner and Holly Yannacone each tallied a pair of goals, and Brooke Little contributed a goal and two assists during the Rams’ most recent win. Yannacone also handed out four assists, as goaltender Noelle Englebert managed 14 saves. Southern outscored Jackson, 5-4, in the second half to grab the victory.

Against Brick, the Rams took a 7-4 lead into halftime, but the Green Dragons outscored Southern, 6-2, in the second half. In Monday’s loss, Brick Memorial took a 7-4 lead into the half and secured the win by outscoring Southern, 5-4, in the second.

Southern Tennis Team
Keeps on Winning

With three more victories this past week, including the 100th career win for coach Evan Brosniak, the Southern boys tennis team surged to a 9-2 record. The Rams’ most recent win occurred on April 30 with a 5-0 dousing of Toms River South. Southern had defeated the Indians, 4-1, on April 27 as well.

In Monday’s contest, first singles player Tommy Franks led the way with a 7-5 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) win over Kyle Oliveri, while Eloin Dunwoody recorded a 6-3, 6-3 win against Garrett White at second singles, and third singles player Colton Little secured the team victory with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win. The first doubles tandem of Sean Distelcamp and Joseph Dunwoody cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory, while Anthony DelRio and Burke Flynn won at second doubles, 6-2, 6-2.

A few days earlier, Franks (6-3, 6-2) and Eloin Dunwoody (6-2, 6-2) won in straight sets at first and second singles, respectively, but South’s Kevin Lanzarotte upended Little at third singles. Distelcamp and Joe Dunwoody scored a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles, and DelRio and Flynn delivered with a 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (10-7) win at second doubles.

On April 26, a 5-0 win over Brick gave Brosniak – who previously had coached at Bound Brook before arriving at Southern – his 100th win. Franks cruised at first singles, 6-0, 6-1, while Eloin Dunwoody scored a 6-4, 6-0 win at second singles, and Little won at third singles, 6-1, 6-0. Both doubles teams registered 6-1, 6-1 victories.

David Biggy

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