Girls’ volleyball caps outsanding season, loses to Bogota in state sectional finals

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Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Jim Brogan

The girls’ volleyball team played in the state sectional finals game on Thursday, Nov. 12.

by Ryan Stolz and Christina Howie

The girls’ volleyball team fell to No. 1 Bogota in the state sectional finals yesterday by a score of two sets to zero. The loss put a damper on an otherwise stellar season.

The girls finished the season with a record of 25-8.

Bogota was the first team to give Glen Rock, No. 5 seed, trouble in the state tournament as the Panthers’ beat No. 28 Arts 2-0 in the first round, No. 12 Cresskill 2-0 in the second round, and then No. 20 Harrison 2-0 in the third round.

Bogota went up on Glen Rock early by a score of 16-6 in the first set. The Panthers’ struggled to cut the deficit as Bogota went on to win the first set 25-9. As the second set began, it looked like much of the same as Bogota jumped out to an early lead.  Glen Rock put up a valiant effort as they pulled in six points, down 23-17. With their season on the line, Glen Rock was unable to muster anymore points against Bogota and they went on to lose the second set 25-17.

“We really proved ourselves this year,” Christina Howie, senior volleyball player, said. “We had great chemistry on and off the court and it really showed throughout the season.”

The Panthers have five graduating seniors including Ari Berke, Anna Brogan, Christina Howie, Killeen McDonald, and Victoria Schwendeman.

“In the beginning of the season we created a list of goals, which included beating Rutherford, the Jersey Classic, counties and states,” said senior captain Ari Berke.  “Everyone individually contributed to our victories this year and we all came together as a team to complete our goals.”

The girls’ season started strong with a 2-1 win against league rival Rutherford.  Following the victory, the team played at the Jersey Classic, a one day volleyball tournament held at Paramus High School.  The team became the first Glen Rock volleyball team to make it to the gold bracket in the playoffs, losing to eventual champion IHA in the semi-finals.

Both Glen Rock and Rutherford ended with a 15-1 record in the NJIC Colonial division, resulting in a co-league championship.  This is the third league title for the team in the last four seasons.

The Panthers, No. 20 seed, went on to beat No. 13 Pascack Valley in the Bergen County tournament, creating one of the biggest upsets in the tournament.  They later lost to No. 5 Paramus in the second round 25-20, 25-22 .

“We went so far this season and reached all of our goals as a team,” said senior captain Killeen McDonald.  “I am so happy how the season went!”

“The team had a lot of different assets this year and all of us did a really good job of working together,” said junior player Paige Lemieux.  “Throughout the state tournament we were always ready for what was ahead and we took on each game as if it was our last. I believe this team left everything we had out on the courts.”