By W. L. Bill Allen, Jr. / Director, NJ Sport/Action
Photo by Bill Allen-NJ Sport/ActionMembers of the volleyball team from Wood-Ridge High School celebrate the Lady Blue Devils’ second league championship in four years after going a perfect 10-0 in the brand new NJIC/Meadowlands League-Division B loop.
WOOD-RIDGE (Nov. 18, 2010) — For the second time in four years, the volleyball contingent from Wood-Ridge High School has earned a league championship, as the Lady Blue Devils garnered the inaugural North Jersey Interscholastic Conference/Meadowlands League-Division B title by going 10-0 in the brand-new league loop, after having finished first in the standings in the now defunct BCSL/Olympic Division back in 2007.
The locals battled their way to the semifinals round in the NJSIAA Group 1 North state tournament by upsetting Hawthorne in the quarterfinals.
In conference combat, Wood-Ridge finished 10-0 by only dropping one game all year and that was when the Lady Blue Devils waylaid Wallington, 23-25, 25-20, 25-14, after having passed the Lady Panthers, 25-11, 25-16, in the first meeting between the two teams this year.
In their other eight NJIC matches, Wood-Ridge stopped Saint Mary, 25-10, 25-8 and 25-11, 25-10, ignited Immaculate Conception of Lodi, 25-13, 25-20 and 25-21, 25-19, walloped Weehawken, 25-8, 25-11 and 25-19, 25-8, and spanked Saddle Brook, 25-11, 25-17 and 25-23, 25-21.
Seeded fifth in the NJSIAA Group 1 North state playoffs bracket, the locals needed three games to get by No. 12 Westwood in the first round on Nov. 2, but then upset No. 4 Hawthorne, 25-17, 25-13, on Nov. 4, prior to seeing their season ended via an 11 and 8 loss to top-seeded and eventual overall State Group 1 Bogota on Nov. 9.
In the upset over Hawthorne, senior outside hitter Melanie Franco had 14 kills, sophomore setter Erinn Carson had 23 assists and 10 service points, junior middle hitter Samantha Kronyak had six blocks and two kills and senior outside hitter Danielle Natoli added seven service points and five digs.
“We had some injuries to deal with, but I’m very happy with the way this team played down the stretch and thrilled that we’ve won another league title,” enthused fifth-year head coach Andrea Marino, whose team finished at 19-8 overall.