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High School Boys Volleyball:
East Brunswick Captures Viking Invitational Tournament

Saturday, April 17, 1999

By Jack Tsikitas
SJSports Special Correspondent

Eastern High School was host to the 4th Annual Viking Invitational Tournament. Ten teams participated in this year's tournament with 9 of the 10 teams ranked in New Jersey's top 15 (including No. 1 East Brunswick, No. 2 St. Joseph's of Metuchen, and No. 4 Cherry Hill East). The ten teams were placed in two pools of five teams each. Competition started at 8:30 AM with the final match starting at 5:30 PM. It was by far the best tournament to date with plenty of high power Volleyball action.

The White pool included Cherry Hill East, Cherry Hill West, East Brunswick, Bridgewater-Raritan, and Wayne Hills. Eastern, West Windsor-Plainsboro, St. Joseph's, Fair Lawn and Hackensack represented the Blue pool. Pool play consisted of two games to 11 points and a 30-minute time limit. The three teams from the White Pool that qualified for the quarterfinals were East Brunswick (7-1), Cherry Hill East (7-1), and Bridgewater-Raritan (4-4). From the Blue Pool, it was Hackensack (6-2), Fair Lawn (6-2), and St. Joseph's (5-3) that qualified.

In the quarterfinals, Bridgewater defeated Fairlawn, 15-12 and St. Joseph's defeated Cherry Hill East, 15-10. The Semifinal was a single game to 21 with St. Joseph's defeating Hackensack, 21-8 and East Brunswick defeating Bridgewater, 21-14.

The finals took the format of a regular match and featured No. 1 ranked East Brunswick vs. No. 2 St. Joseph's. East Brunswick came away the victory by the scores of 15-11 and 15-8. This was the second consecutive victory by East Brunswick over St. Joe's in three days. These same two teams battled it out on Thursday in a Central Jersey regular season match-up that went to three games.

The main attraction of the final match was St. Joseph's basketball star Jason Williams and the much publicized jumping and playing ability of Paul Bocage. East Brunswick featured the "Star-Ledger Player of the Week" and in the opinion of this writer the Viking Tournament MVP, 6'6" senior Mike Strapko who managed to play spectacularly with an injured wrist incurred early on in pool play.

Photos by Art Redd

Click here for more photos from the tournament.

Championship Game:
East Brunswick vs. St. Joseph

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