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High School Volleyball:
Washington Township Takes Round One

Tuesday, May 1, 2001

By John Daglian
SJSports Staff Writer

The first round between the big four in Boy's Volleyball was completed last night in Washington Township. The Cherry West Boy's Volleyball team traveled to Township in an attempt to give them their first loss. Washington Township was up for the task and remained unbeaten with a 15 - 7, 15 - 9 straight set victory. The win clearly indicates that they are the team to beat in South Jersey this season. Township used a well balanced attack along with some tough serving to maintain control of the match from start to finish.

Township came out flying in game one as setter Matt Aloi found Todd Strassberger for three quick points. Cherry Hill West?s primary offense came out of middle hitter Jordan Taormina, but the relentless Township attack forced setter Curtis Long to push the ball to the outside. While hitters Josh Trubin and Dan Truongcao looked for openings, the Township defense closed them quickly and once again forced West on the defensive. In the early going the overall height advantage enjoyed by Township was preventing West from mounting any sustained attack. Township setter Dan Nadel took advantage of some great passing and fed Mike Gaffney for several more points. Within minutes the lead had grown to 9 - 0. West then got some tough serving of their own from Curtis Long and Boris Smojver. They cut the lead to 5 at 11 - 6. However, a key block by Andrew Nieradka stopped the rally and kills by Todd and Mike got Township to game point. Mike Gaffney blocked a middle attack for the winner and Township was one game away from a sweep of Eastern, Cherry Hill East and Cherry Hill West. A task no other team has ever completed.

In game two, West picked up their passing and established the middle attack as Boris Smojver and Jordan Taormina took turns trading points with Townships outside bombers. The game remained tight as neither team could get more than a one point lead. West took a 9 - 8 advantage at the halfway point. At that point, Township?s height proceeded to take over the match forcing four consecutive hitting errors to gain a three point lead. They never looked back and when Todd Strassberger got the kill at match point, Township had completed the sweep.

These teams will meet again on May 24th at Cherry Hill West.

Match Leaders:

Washington Township:
Mike Gaffney: 7 Kills, 1 Block, 2 Aces
Matt Ogin: 7 Kills, 3 Blocks
Todd Strassberger: 7 Kills, 1 Block, 1 Ace

Cherry Hill West:
Boris Smojver:
9 Kills, 3 Blocks
Jordan Taormina: 6 Kills, 2 Blocks
Dan Truongcao: 4 Kills, 1 Block

Photos by Art Redd

©2001 South Jersey Sports Online