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High School Volleyball:
Cherry Hill East Comes up Big Against Eastern

Monday, April 30, 2001

By John Daglian
SJSports Staff Writer

The Cherry East Boys Volleyball team traveled to Voorhees on Monday April 30th to do battle with Eastern. This promised to be a very intense match as both teams are ranked in the top 15 of the state and along with Cherry Hill West and Washington Township are among the four best teams in the southern part of the state. The match did not disappoint as the first game alone took 45 minutes to complete. In the end, Cherry Hill East held off a tenacious Eastern comeback and took the match 15 - 10 and 15 - 7.

Eastern started the match with the serve and thought they had gotten a quick 1 - 0 lead, but it was discovered the wrong player had served, thus a side out was awarded and a 0 - 0 score. After several side outs Cherry Hill East went to their outside hitters Ankur Patel and Frank Chang to get an early 2 - 0 lead. The game soon developed into a war between both middles: Jason Mitchell of East and Antonio Guenovski of Eastern. Both players were swinging freely from everywhere on the court. Whenever either team was in need of a side out the ball went to these guys and they usually delivered. Cherry Hill slowly pulled away going on a 9 - 2 run for an 11 - 2 lead. They were getting contributions from everyone on the court as setter Alexis Alonzo was able to spread the ball around. However, Eastern was able to halt the run and slowly turn the game around. After 10 sideouts Antonio got a kill from the back row and the lead was cut to 8. Mathew Will got into the act with some timely hitting and key blocking and suddenly the lead was down to 11 - 7. During the comeback Andrew Foster displayed some pin point passing to keep the Eastern attack moving. However, East was able to stop the bleeding as Joseph Lee and Frank Chang closed out the game at 15 - 10.

The second game stayed even with both teams exchanging 1 point leads early in the contest. However, with Eastern leading 6 - 5, Cherry Hill jumped on Jason Mitchell's back and went on a 9 - 2 run to close out the game and match 15 - 7. The game again featured the Antonio and Jason show as both players seemed to be able to end the volley at will. The difference was that Cherry Hill was able to get the ball to Jason for both points and side outs. Meanwhile, Eastern was getting the ball to Antonio for the side outs, but couldn't find a way to get him the ball for a point. Some of this had to do with Cherry Hill's attack as they kept the Eastern defense off balance with well placed shots from Michael Morrow and Ankur Patel. This forced Eastern's setters Nick Wolf and Kyle Ryan to scramble for the second ball. Thus, the Eastern offense was kept off balance.

The win stopped the bleeding by East as they had previously lost to both Cherry Hill West and Washington Township. Eastern had previously lost to Washington Township, but had beaten Cherry Hill West earlier in the season. Since all of these teams play each other a second time the conference title is still wide open this season.

Match Leaders:

Cherry Hill East:
Jason Mitchell: 17 Kills, 3 Blocks
Ankur Patel: 9 Kills, 2 Blocks, 1 Ace
Frank Chang: 6 Kills
Joseph Lee: 6 Kills, 1 Block
Michael Morrow: 4 Kills, 1 Ace

Antonio Guenovski:18 Kills, 2 Blocks, 1 Ace
Matthew Will: 4 Kills, 3 Blocks, 1 Ace
Andrew Foster: 4 Kills
Sean McCloud: 3 Kills

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