|High School Volleyball:
3rd Annual Olympic Conference Senior All Star Game
Monday, November 20, 2000
By John Daglian
It was a night of stars at Eastern Regional High School Monday as the third annual Olympic Senior All Star game was held in front of over 400 fans. This game gives the seniors a chance to show case their individual skills and more importantly have a lot of fun in the process. The game had representatives from nine of the Olympic Conference teams. Additionally, several of the none participating coaches found the time to attend the match.
The format is set up as a five game match so that all of the players get plenty of playing time. The teams are divided according to the final standings in the two divisions of the conference. The division attempts to keep the match close and the teams even. However, I suspect every one was surprised at just how close the match turned out. The Participants are shown below:
A scheduled five game event would need all five games to determine a winner. In an extremely well played match, no game was decided by more than 5 points and 3 games were decided by two points. In the end the Blue team was victorious 15 - 10, 13 - 15, 15 - 11, 14 - 16 and 25 - 23.
The coaches managed to get everyone into the affair and keep their playing time fairly even. The Blue team used multiple substitutions through out the five game event while the Tan team split their players into two squads. In the fifth game the Tan team switched all six players every ten points.
An all star game can turn out to be fairly sloppy since the players are unfamiliar with each other's styles and team's systems. However, last night proved to be an exception as both teams provided us with some spectacular offense and outstanding defense.
In the first game, Tan jumped out to an early 5 - 2 lead before Blue stormed back behind the hitting of Neesha Shah and Marysia Szymkowiak. The game also featured some great defense by Sarah Goldberg for the Blue team and Lauren Levy and Tahanee McKeown for the Tan team. In the end, Team Blue managed to remain comfortably ahead and secure the win at 15 - 10.
The second game saw a completely different Tan team that managed to come back from a 13 - 9 deficit with 6 consecutive points and even the match at a game apiece. This time great defense came from Kristan Fries for the Tan team. Tan's setter Alison Lorenzo managed to distribute to the ball to all of her hitters enabling every player on the court to get into the action. The Blue team setters Inna Fabrikant, Thea Dorado and Liz Cherson also managed to distribute the ball as Nicole Pressel and Erin Leibert got some impressive kills.
Tan went back to their game 1 line up for the 3rd game and Neesha and Marysia came back into the match for the Blue team. This game featured some tough serving from Lisa Hatcher for the Blue team and Rita Fisher for the Tan team. In the end, the Blue team would never trail and took the game 15 - 11. Once again Neesha and Marysia continued their dominance at the net.
The final two games were probably the best of the night as both teams provided us with tough serves, great hits and amazing defense. In the fourth game, the Tan team once again trailed by as many as 6 points including a 9 - 14 deficit before winning 16 - 14. During the comeback Noelle Bolletino and Lauren Levy got points off of stuff blocks, while Brandy Hines and Jasmine Van Loan got some timely kills.
The fifth game featured the Sarah show as both Sarah Boyer and Sarah Goldberg for the Blue team were all over the court. They provided their setters with perfect passes and got into the offense with several kills. The Blue team took the game 25 - 23 and the match 3 games to 2. However, more importantly every one got plenty of playing time and a good time was had by all participants.
On a separate note: Special congratulations go to the Cherry Hill West and Eastern Volleyball teams for their great play in the recently completed Group IV State tournament. This tournament is traditionally dominated by the North and Central Jersey teams due their more extensive Volleyball experience. However, Cherry Hill West which was seeded 24th out of 31 teams reached the Quarter Finals with road upsets over the 9th and 8th seeds. Eastern, seeded 4th, did them one better as they became the first South Jersey Girls Volleyball team to reach the State Finals.
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