Saturday, September 9, 2006
By John Daglian
The 12th annual Viking invitational Girls Volleyball tournament was held at Eastern High School on Saturday September 9th. This tournament normally features several of the top Group 4 schools in the state. This year the participating schools were Eastern, Cherry Hill East, Cherry Hill West, Memorial, East Brunswick, Wayne Hills, Hackensack, West Windsor South and Clifton.
The two pools were divided as follows: Pool #1 consisted of Eastern, Wayne Hills, Memorial and Cherry Hill West. and West Windsor South. Pool #2 contained Cherry Hill East, East Brunswick, West Windsor South, Hackensack and Clifton.
Pool play would consist of two 15-point rally games with a 17-point cap. Pool play lasted from 8:30 AM to around 2:30 PM. During pool play several matches went the distance finishing 17 16.
Memorial proved it was the team to beat early in Pool #1 by dominating play en route to a perfect 9 0 record. Cherry Hill West managed to pull off tough wins against Eastern to finish 2nd in the pool while Eastern captured 3rd by handling Wayne Hills.
Pool #2 was a three way battle between East Brunswick, Clifton and Cherry Hill East. An early loss to Hackensack by both Cherry Hill East and Clifton ensured East Brunswick would capture the pool. Cherry Hill East and Clifton then played a 15 point game to determine who would finish 2nd and 3rd. West Windsor and Hackensack did not advance from pool play, however, both teams showed they will be heard from as the season progresses.
The one game play off was all Clifton as they took an early lead and held off any Cherry Hill rally attempts. Thus, the playoffs were set. East Brunswick and Memorial would get byes into the semi-finals.
The quarterfinals pitted the 2nd place team of each pool against the other pools 3rd place team. This would be a single rally game to 15 points. The first quarterfinal saw Clifton get an early lead and never look back in defeating Eastern 15 7. The second quarterfinal was the battle of Cherry Hill. Cherry Hill East took this one over Cherry Hill West.
The semi-finals featured Cherry Hill East against East Brunswick and Clifton against Memorial. These were set up as a single 25-point rally game. In the first semi, East Brunswick took command early and never looked back in easily advancing to the final with a 25 16 win. The 2nd semi-final was much closer, but Memorial never seemed to lose the lead and advanced over Clifton.
The final again was slated as 25-point rally game. This was a battle of two evenly matched teams as they exchanged leads throughout the game until Memorial jumped in front 20 -17. East Brunswick attempted to rally, but fell short as Memorial finished a perfect day with a 25 23 victory.
Once again this tournament provided quality play and gave an indication of what is to come as the 2006 season continues.