Two weeks into the spring sports season, plenty of Southern Ocean County teams remain undefeated. But one particular spurt is among the most impressive so far this season – the Southern Regional High School boys volleyball’s team’s three-match stint between Friday and Monday.
Facing a pair of perennial powers on May 1 and May 3, the Rams first knocked off Fair Lawn in a doubleheader on the road, then came right back to swipe a three-game decision against two-time defending state champion Old Bridge to complete a 10-match winning streak to start the season.
Against the Knights on Monday, Southern lost the first game, 25-21, before bouncing back for a 26-24 win in the second game, then winning the third game, 25-21. Tommy Deakyne delivered 19 kills and a pair of aces, while Dylan Lockwood handed out 32 assists, and Lucas Kean contributed seven kills. Ethan Case managed 23 digs and scored 14 service points, and Nick Piserchia added 10 digs.
During the first match against the Cutters, Southern again lost the first game, 25-20, before rebounding to win the next two, 25-23, 25-22. Deakyne slammed 14 kills and six digs, while Lockwood gave away 29 assists and scored on a pair of blocks, and Kean registered seven kills and 10 digs. C.J. Schmidt added four kills, two blocks and three digs.
In the second match on Saturday, the Rams kept up their momentum and cruised to a 25-19, 25-18 victory. Deakyne hammered down 11 kills and recorded seven digs and two aces, while Lockwood dished out 22 assists and again scored on two blocks, and Schmidt bashed six kills. Case contributed nine service points, which included two aces.
Earlier in the week, the Rams cruised to a pair of 2-0 victories over Toms River East, as well as a 2-0 triumph against Kingsway and a doubleheader, 2-0 sweep over Wall Township.
Southern Softball Squad
Starts Season 6-0
Almost as impressive as the Southern volleyball team’s start is the Southern softball squad’s win streak to start the season, which increased to six straight following a 12-1 bruising of Shore Conference Class A South foe Brick Memorial on May 3. During the streak, the Rams have averaged seven runs per game while giving up just over two.
After taking a 1-0 lead to start the first, Memorial tied the game in the second inning. But the Rams tacked on three runs in the top of the third, then exploded for seven in the fourth to take control. Leah Morrin led the offensive charge by going 3-for-4 with a home run, while Megan Campanile went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple.
During an 11-7 victory over Oakcrest on May 1, Southern scored five runs in the third, added four in the fifth and held on from there. Sarah Lally went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and home run, while Morrin also went 3-for-4, and Laci Yacono swatted a pair of hits, including a double. Yacono earned the victory in the pitcher’s circle, scattering eight hits while striking out five and walking two.
Earlier in the week, the Rams notched a pair of wins over division rival Jackson Memorial – a 2-0 win on April 27, followed by a 3-1 win two days later. In the first game of the week, Elizabeth Gosse fired the shutout, giving up three hits while fanning eight. Gosse also earned the win in the second game, tossing a four-hitter while whiffing six, as Morrin went 2-for-3 and Campanile whacked a two-run homer in the fourth for the eventual winning runs.
Pinelands Boys Tennis
Improves to 7-0
After four straight wins during the first week of the season, the Pinelands Regional boys tennis team added three more victories last week to improve to 7-0 on the season thus far – all three victories by way of 5-0 sweeps.
Against Shore Conference Class B South rival Manchester on April 29, Brian Delbury cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win at first singles, while Josh Kline scored a 6-1, 6-0 win at seconds singles, and Adam Grelak completed the singles sweep with a 6-0, 6-0 triumph at third singles. At first doubles, Daniel McCarthy and Michael Staino won, 6-0, 6-0, and Carter Mathis and Andrew Falduto finished off the Hawks with a 6-1, 6-0 win at second doubles.
A day earlier against Jackson Liberty, the Wildcats again were led by the singles crew, as Delbury won a 6-1, 6-3 decision at first, followed by Kline’s and Grelak’s 6-0, 6-0, victories in the other two positions. McCarthy and Staino rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles, while the second-doubles duo of Mathis and Falduto won, 6-0, 6-0.
Against the Lions two days earlier, Delbury won at first singles, 6-1, 6-1, while Kline registered a 6-1, 6-0 win at second, and Grelak delivered a 6-2, 6-1 win at third, while the first-doubles tandem of McCarthy and Staino easily won, 6-0, 6-1, and Mathis partnered with James Cahill at second doubles to win 6-0, 6-0.
Barnegat Girls Lacrosse
Wins Four Straight
Following a 1-1 start, the Barnegat girls lacrosse team not only has turned up the heat with its offense, but also has won four straight, the latest of those victories a 16-5 onslaught against Brick Memorial on May 3.
The Bengals jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the first half and cruised from there, as Alyson Sojak and Calli Dunn each tallied five goals, Ashley Pringle scored four times and gave out three assists, and Alexis Jackson added a pair of goals and four assists.
Against Toms River East on April 30, Barnegat started with a 10-4 first-half barrage, then added seven more goals in the second half to win 17-4. Ashley Sojak scored the shutout in goal, making three saves along the way, as Pringle and Jackson each scored five goals to lead the offense. Dunn and Savia Singh each contributed a pair of goals, while Patience Mares, Megan Erwin and Alyson Sojack each fired the ball into the net once.
A day earlier, the Bengals again jumped out to a big lead – going up 10-1 in the first half – and cruised to a 16-2 victory over division foe Manchester. Jackson led the offense with five goals, while Pringle tossed in four and Alyson Sojak buried three goals. Singh again added two goals.
To start the week, Barnegat knocked off Central Regional, 9-4, as Ashley Sojak made eight saves in front of the goal, and Jackson and Dunn each scored three times to lead the offense, which took control of the game with a 7-2 first-half effort. Pringle scored twice as well.
Win Six in a Row
After a tight loss to Donovan Catholic to start the season, the Pinelands Regional golf team has turned things around in a big way, winning its last six contests, including a 185-235 victory over Shore Conference Class B South foe Barnegat on May 3.
Thomas Reilly birdied the fourth and sixth holes at the Ocean County Golf Course at Atlantis on the way to a even-par 36, while Brandan Tyhanic scored a 47, D.J. Pomponio added a 49 and Luke Shertenlieb finished with a 53.
During a 180-281 win over Manchester on April 30, Reilly again led the way with a 1-over-par 37, Tyhanic carded a 42, Pomponio ended with a 49, and Shertenlieb managed a 52. Two days earlier against the Hawks, the Wildcats cruised to a 152-202 win, as Reilly fired a 1-over 32, followed by Tyhanic’s 36, Grace Klements’ 41 and Pomponio’s 43.
Southern Tennis Team
Goes 4-0 in First Week
After a slight delay to the start of its season, the Southern boys tennis team finally got onto the court last week and celebrated the new season by winning four straight, all by way of 5-0 sweeps.
Against Toms River South on April 30, Logan Van Liew started the team victory with a 6-4, 6-4 win at first singles, while Angelo Palombini cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles, and Ryan Leavitt rolled to a 6-0, 6-4 win at third. The first-doubles crew of Sean Kahl and Simon Schriever easily won their match, 6-1, 6-0, and Dan Materazzi and Bryan Kahl rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
In a fairly close match with Central Regional on April 28, Van Liew won a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 decision at first singles, while Palombini scored a 6-4, 6-2 win at second, and Leavitt managed a 6-2, 6-3 victory at third singles. Sean Kahl and Schriever won a 6-1, 6-4 contest at first doubles, and Materazzi and Bryan Kahl cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win at second doubles.
During a shutout of Barnegat on April 27, Van Liew scored a 6-1, 6-0 win at first singles, before Palombini recorded a 6-0, 6-0 victory at second, and Leavitt easily won at third singles, 6-1, 6-3. Sean Kahl and Schriever won, 6-1, 6-2, at first doubles, and Materazzi and Bryan Kahl cruised at second doubles, 6-0, 6-0.
— David Biggy