Southern Volleyball Team Captures Its Own Tourney Title, Soars to 20-0

May 03, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

With the cannons merely reloaded as it entered the season, the question wasn’t whether the Southern Regional boys volleyball team would be good, but more about how good and how far the Rams would get before any team in New Jersey would beat them. So far, the Rams basically have been untouchable, as they’ve cruised to a 20-0 record.

On April 29, the team easily won its Southern Invitational tournament, rolling to a 25-15, 25-13 victory over North Brunswick in the championship contest. Southern knocked off Williamstown, 25-16, 25-22, in the semifinals. Setter Brennan Davis ended up as the tournament MVP after recording combined 45 assists, 10 digs and four blocks during the latter two victories.

Also in the title game, Shane Bent managed five digs and four blocks, while Collin Lockwood registered nine kills and Shane Drayton delivered three kills and four blocks. In the semifinals, Lockwood slammed 10 kills, Bent banged down nine kills and recorded three blocks and Drayton had five kills. Matt Maxwell and Sam Iacoves tallied eight and four digs, respectively, against Williamstown.

On Monday, Southern kicked off May with an easy, 25-9, 25-12 triumph over Shore Conference Class A South rival Toms River North. Lockwood had six kills and two blocks, while Jay Boehler knocked down four kills, Bent had two kills and three blocks, and David registered 15 assists and six digs. Maxwell Maffie also had three aces.

Southern Sailors

Second in State Championship

Heavy wind always presents a challenge to the light Southern Regional sailing crew, and on April 29 during the New Jersey Interscholastic Sailing Association’s state championship regatta the Rams again had to overcome big wind. Still, the Rams were one of the better squads on the Shrewsbury River, taking second place with a team scored of 54. The Ranney School won the title with 43 points, as the Panthers led most of the way through the 10-race regatta.

“As has been the case for much of the year, it blew,” said coach Steve Warren on the team’s Facebook page. “This time steady over 20 knots with occasional ‘dusters’ clocked at as much as 28 knots. We are among the lightest crews, which puts us at a disadvantage in those conditions, but we sailed hard.”

The duo of skipper Emily Haig and crew Paul Reiff won the first race and took the fourth spot in the second race, but remained behind Ranney for much of the way, as the Panthers’ A-fleet tandem swiped first in six of the last nine races. Meanwhile, the Rams’ team of skipper Dana Haig and crew Tommy Green sailed to the second spot in five of the 10 B-fleet races to keep the Rams near the top.

With three races left, Ranney’s lead had been cut down to five points after Haig and Reiff grabbed the first spot in the ninth race. They then took second in their 10th race, but with the wind fired up the lighter B-fleet duo mustered fifth-place finishes in their last two races while the Ranney squad grabbed third and second in the ninth and 10th races, respectively.

“We sailed awesome,” Warren said. “Second place in the state championship leaves plenty to feel good about.”

Pinelands Softball Team

Improves to 8-3

The Pinelands Regional softball team may have had its four-game winning streak snapped in a 6-2 loss to Washington Township during the first round of the Hammonton Invitational on April 29, but the big news of the past week was how the winning streak culminated.

The Wildcats remained in the hunt for the Shore Conference Class B South division title with another shutout of Lacey, 3-0, on April 28. Even more impressive was that they managed to win the contest with three hits. All of Pinelands’ runs were scored in the bottom of the fifth.

After Ally Vezos walked with the bases loaded, senior Madison Dancisin whacked a two-run single to make it a three-run game. From there, junior pitcher Jessie Rising kept the Lions down, ultimately giving up just four hits and finishing with five strikeouts.

Southern Baseball Team

Wins Three Straight

It seems the Southern baseball team’s magic number is four. That’s how many runs the Rams have scored in each of their last three games – all victories – as they’ve improved to 6-4 on the season.

On May 1, the Rams kicked off the second half of their season with a 4-3 win over Shore Conference Class A South foe Toms River East. Nick Simone earned the victory on the mound as he gave up seven hits and two walks while fanning four through five innings. Andrew Luongo started the contest, throwing a scoreless two innings before yielding to Simone. Meanwhile, Pat Barrett and Zach Oddo each swatted two hits to help lead the offense.

Following a 4-0 shutout of Brick Memorial on April 27, the Rams came right back the next day and knocked off Toms River North, 4-2. Barrett was the big gun on the hill, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing five hits while striking out four. Offensively, Noah Brown and Oddo each went 2-for-3 and Garret Lange whacked a two-run single.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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