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Volleyball

Two in a row for Mount Olive

RANDOLPH _ There's usually laughter, joking and singing when the Mount Olive volleyball team takes to the road for a game. On Saturday, Oct. 28 prior to the Morris County Tournament final, the bus transporting the Marauders was uncharacteristically quiet with the majority of the players listening to music. "We're usually so silly," said Mount Olive senior setter and defensive specialist Lauren Miller. "We have fun on the bus. When we got here, we were calm, collected, in the zone. We were so focused. Laser focused." Being ultra honed in benefited top-seeded Mount Olive as it repeated as MCT champion…

Rivera, Marauders roll into final

RANDOLPH _ A bout of vertigo left Mount Olive's Britney Rivera exhausted. Rivera rested for four days during the week then attended a short practice on Friday. The Marauders Morris County Tournament semifinal versus Roxbury was looming and nothing was going to keep the senior outside hitter off the court. Family bragging rights were at stake, too. Rivera's cousin, Amber Chen, plays for the opposing Gaels. Being sidelined didn't cause Rivera's skills to slump. She was in fine form in the semifinals, helping top-seeded and defending champion Mount Olive defeat fourth-seeded Roxbury, 25-13, 25-9, on Saturday, Oct. 21 by making…

Knolls rallies past Gaels

ROXBURY _ Down a game versus Roxbury and battling to close out the second game, Morris Knolls did not let doubt creep in. The Golden Eagles had two match points but the Gaels managed to stay alive. Morris Knolls closed out the critical game on Brooke Herman's kill and then gained a seven-point lead in the decisive game. Morris Knolls saw its advantage dwindle but went on to prevail 2-1 over Roxbury on Tuesday, Sept. 19. It was the first time since 2013 that the Golden Eagles, who triumphed 22-25, 27-25 and 25-22, have defeated the Gaels. "We came in…

Marauders' streak ends

WAYNE _ Mount Olive was successful on its first journey into unfamiliar territory, racking up its first Morris County Tournament championship. The Marauders continued streaking after that, making it all the way to the Group III final. Naturally, there were high hopes and a desire to make more history but top-seeded Old Tappan, relying on experience and a significant height advantage, topped second-seeded Mount Olive, 25-21, 25-14, in the title match at William Paterson University on Saturday, Nov. 12. The Group III crown was the second in a row for the Golden Knights. Old Tappan (22-1) has claimed four titles…

Mt. Olive enjoying fine season

MOUNT OLIVE _ In a six-hour span on Saturday, Oct. 22, the Mount Olive volleyball team had maximum fun, prevailing in their Morris County Tournament semifinal over West Morris then getting together for an early Halloween party. That was a lot for one evening but, for the Marauders, it was the perfect way to keep the buzz going. After defeating the Wolfpack, 25-13, 25-15, the girls were more than thrilled to spend more hours together at Julia Hutchinson-Lundy's house while dressed as hockey players, anime characters, nerds, rabbits and other animals. "We were all in great moods," said tri-captain Ally Wisnewski.…

Rams' aim is banner season

RANDOLPH _ The Randolph volleyball team's typical method of winning is unorthodox but it works. Since the beginning of the season, the Rams have thrived and fought after falling behind. Whether it be a set or a substantial deficit, they manage to survive as they did in a Morris County Tournament semifinal against fifth-seeded Kinnelon, coming away with a 25-21, 26-28, 25-21 win on Saturday, Oct 22. Randolph escapes tense situations so often that coach Sebastian DiPietro actually has become accustomed to it and is unfazed by his squad's modus operandi. "I don't worry. They don't worry," DiPietro said. "It's…

Eagles September Slam

DENVILLE _ Preseason injuries to middle hitters Jane Taylor and Heather McCullough created Madison's first challenge. The Dodgers somehow would have to make do without Taylor, a junior, and McCullough, a sophomore, for an indefinite period of time. Although young, Madison has filled those gaping voids for the first week and a half of the season, going 4-1. "We're surviving," said Dodgers coach Stephen Fenton at the Eagles September Slam. "It's gone pretty well. We still have the same goals - to win our division, contend in the counties and be strong in Group II. With a little luck, maybe…

Roxbury tweaks game, triumphs

RANDOLPH _ Just like the first game, defending champion West Morris was on a late roll, threatening Roxbury, which once had a seemingly comfortable nine-point lead. The Wolfpack inched closer and closer, cutting their deficit to five points. Then, as if there wasn't enough tension, dominant senior outside hitter Lauren Kornmann had to leave the court after chipping her teeth and cutting her lower lip while trying to make a save.

Gaels visualize then capitalize

RANDOLPH _ Roxbury's visualization sessions before matches are invaluable. The Gaels typically lay down in the small gym, close their eyes and imagine what they want to accomplish and how they'll go about it. Coach Beth Grasso speaks to them in a soft voice during each themed session.