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High School Volleyball:
Cougars Cruise Through Their Preliminary Match

Wednesday, May 19, 1999

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

The quest has begun for the Cherry Hill East boy's volleyball team to repeat as state champions. Oh yeah, there are a few good teams that stand in their way, but today the Cougars took one step closer in capturing their 4th straight state championship. Fair Lawn came into town and left disappointed as East cruised to a 15-6, 15-6 victory in a NJSIAA playoff match. Setter Dan Chung was able to dish out sets that allowed East to put away for the kill.

The meeting between Fair Lawn and Cherry Hill East had all the makings of a match that would consist of side out after side out. Fair Lawn's Ilan Ferdman and Justin Merrero were known to be excellent outside hitters. Both these hitters rely on setter Joe Davina to provide them with sets that they could have the opportunity to put away for the kill. Fair Lawn were not able to execute their offense efficiently and East made due on their chances.

Dan Chung, the junior setter for East, received passes that allowed him to set up his outside hitters thoughtout their preliminary match. In the first game, the Cougars started off quickly jumping out to 4-1 lead highlighted by aces by Matt Minoff and Jeff Mooney. With that lead, excellent passing and the home crowd behind them, Chung ran the offense keeping the Fair Lawn defense guessing who would get the set. The Cougars took a 7-3 lead when Peter Ro and Tim Roche set up a wall that Fair Lawn couldn't get through for the point. The block party continued when Paul McNally stuff a hit for a point and a 12-5 edge. Hitting errors by Fair Lawn was their downfall through game one. McNally's ended the game with a float serve ace to capture game one.

Game two started out differently for Fair Lawn as they jumped out to a 3-0 early lead. All of these points came on forced errors by early East mistakes. Fair Lawn was still unable to get a good pass to Davina to get off the good sets close to the net. Minoff's kill down the line tied the game at 4 all and that was just the beginning of the Cougar's run. The match continued in East's favorite and they cruised again to a 15-6 victory.

Photos by Art Redd

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