WEEK AT A GLANCE
FLORENCE: The Flashes (1-2) opened the season with two 2-0 defeats to Cinnaminson before recovering on Tuesday with a 2-0 win against Pennsauken. Chantal Galarza Ramirez had 12 digs in the three games, while Lana Duke had nine service points, and Kate Woolston collected nine digs and seven service points, and Emily Habeck had nine service points and seven aces.
HOPEWELL VALLEY: The Bulldogs (3-1) made an early statement with 2-0 wins over Northern Burlington and Princeton that were centered around a split with Rancocastal. Senior setter Corrinna Weyhrich mastered her job and got 44 of the team’s 47 assists along with 32 service points. Sofie Ragins counted 34 kills and 21 service points. Sophomore Michaela Kwak had a team high of 36 service points and eight aces that resulted in 11 kills and 11 digs.
MONTGOMERY: Faced with a challenging Skylands schedule, the Cougars (1-3) lost three of their top four, but two of those setbacks could have been either way. In 2-1 losses to Ridge and Hunterdon Central. Montgomery dropped the third game in each game, 25-20. The win was a 2-1 thriller against Hillsborough that could have gone either way as the end result in the third game was 25:23.
Setter Emily Barlin scored 34 digs and 50 assists in the four games, while libero Christina Fogg had 43 digs and Antonia Ipeker scored 38 digs and 18 service points. Georgia Weiss collected 21 kills, 22 digs, and 13 SPs, and Andrea Katramados had 22 digs.
NORTHERN BURLINGTON: NBC (4-2) plays with seven senior college cast members in the rotation, sweeping Notre Dame and Burlington Township for losses against Hopewell Valley and West Windsor-Plainsboro South.
Junior Christaleigh Amiale (39 excavations, 24 service points) and senior Laura Tavener (21 kills, 13 excavations, 32 service points) made their veteran presence noticeable in the first six games, but some newcomers also made an impression. Sophomore Juliana Kucowski had 10 kills, 12 digs and 28 service points, Junior Rachel Shaw got 39 assists, 35 service points and 19 kills, Junior Averie Elliott got 12 kills, 18 assists and 34 SPs and the second Tanvi Kundur got 10 kills, nine Blocks and eight SPs.
NOTRE DAME: The Irish (0-3) luck did not hold up on St. Patrick’s Day as they struck a double strike to open the season to Northern Burlington before falling 2-1 to West Windsor-Plainsboro North on Tuesday. Paris Lott had 10 kills and six ditches in the three setbacks.
PRINCESS: The Little Tigers (0-3) opened against two of the hottest teams in the region, dropping two 2-0 decisions against West Windsor Plainsboro South and a 2-0 decision against Hopewell Valley on Tuesday. Amanda Shi got off to a strong start with 21 assists and eight digs, while Yani Ince and Shiffon Qian had 11 digs each.
STEM-ZIVIK: The Ewing side got off to a tough 0-3 start with two losses to Sterling and one to Collingswood, but Andrea Inga Carrion had 12 failures and Sa’Nyai Jones had three aces and five failures.
STUART DAY: Trainer Anna Kachmarski has kept the goals for the tartans this year simple – have fun and stay healthy. If winning is fun, follow orders as the Tartans (3-0) shot out of the box with wins over Oak Knoll, Passaic Charter and North Brunswick.
After 2-0 wins in their first two games, Stuart dropped his first game of the year but rebounded with 25-21 and 25-23 wins over North Brunswick.
Shirley Xie led the hot start (see below), while Aleah James also played a big role with 73 excavations and 38 service points. Sonya Jin helped with 26 digs and 17 assists and Laila Fair recorded 28 kills.
WW-P NORTH: The Northern Knights (1-3) opened with two of the best teams in the Burlington County Scholastic League, dropping two 2-0 decisions against Moorestown and one against West Windsor-Plainsboro South. They bounced back on their first win on Tuesday, 2-1, over Notre Dame after losing their first game 26-24. It was also the first university coaching victory for the new head coach Brianna Cichowski.
McKaya Hall had 14 digs during the week, while Isabella Martinez racked up 16 assists and five aces, and Claire Yu had eight kills and six assists.
WW-P SOUTH: The Pirates flew out of the gates with four 2-0 wins in a row and were hardly challenged. NBC gave South their greatest threat with a 27:25 loss. A 25-20 decision over Princeton was the only other game the Pirates didn’t win by double digits.
Alisa Vukovic had an excellent all-round start for the Pirates with 34 excavations, 24 kills, 26 service points and 11 aces. Sophomore Sibana Gonzalez showed that despite her age she is one of the top players in the region with 23 kills, 31 digs, 23 service points and 10 aces. Skylar Hendrick had 22 kills, 14 digs, 30 service points and 10 aces, while the junior libero / setter Shakthi had 48 digs, 25 service points and 13 aces. Senior setter Varsha Gollarhalli amassed 41 assists.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
In its first three years as a program, Stuart Country Day went from 5 to 24, with four of those wins last season. The tartans almost hit those sums in their 3-0 start and Shirley Xie is a big reason.
The 5-foot-9 senior setter / outside hitter garnered 39 assists, 32 digs, and 20 service points in three wins, and also hacked in with four kills and four aces to earn the Player of the Week award.
GAMES YOU WATCH THIS WEEK
March 25th: Hopewell in Princeton
March 27: WW-P North at WW-P South
March 29: Northern Burlington in Moorestown
March 30: Stuart at Princeton Day School
March 31: Pennsauken at Stem Civics