The Summit Volleyball Team traveled to Rahway on the back end of the 2 game season series which saw the Rahway crew drop a decision on the JV level to the Hilltoppers in Summit but the Varsity squad up-ended the SHS team 2-0 on the road.
The JV Squad started off rather slow in their return match versus the Rahway crew as the squad was looking at the wrong end of a 9-4 score by rotation 3 but Emily Demm ripped off a 3 point run that had the Top back in the game at 9-7 down. On the very next rotation Rahway was unable to create any separation and that allowed Stella Yarden to run a 4 point service streak that finally had the Hilltoppers up at 12-11 after her serve was broken. The set remained somewhat undecided over the next few rotations with SHS holding an 18-12 lead but not being able to get the decisive run, that is, until Abby Thompson stepped up to serve. The sophomore Setter ran off 5 points on her serve and the SHS crew had finally broken the spirits of the Rahway team with the lead of 24-13. It was over in the very next rotation, 25-14.
Set 2 was much more competitive with Rahway getting the upper hand late. Not much separated the teams through 6 rotations as the Hilltoppers found themselves tied at 8. Wish there was more to tell of rotations 7 through 12 but the score line of 15-14 Summit says all that needs to be said as neither team could muster much consistency. But in rotation 13, Rahway made the first real run with a 3-0 service point tally that had RHS up 18-16. SHS could not respond and the next rotation saw Rahway extend the lead to 22-17. Despite the adversity and being down 22-18, the Hilltoppers used their serving to crawl back into the set behind the arm of Abby Wells. Wells had a 3 point run that had the Top closer but still facing a deficit at 23-21 but Demm ran off a pair of serves that had the set knotted up at 23. A service break gave Rahway the ball and a set point but an RHS error got the ball in Jessica Clark’s hands and the junior drove two difficult balls to the Rahway serve receive and just like that, the Hilltoppers had closed out the set and match 26-24.
JV improves to 11W-1L.
Varsity was looking to erase their early speed bump against this Rahway team but the hosts were of a very different mindset. Summit started off well enough with a solid Sarah Noa serve which led to a Zoe Zacharias dig and Rebekah Thompson set up Vivian Roberts for a kill to start SHS off well and the team actually found themselves up 3-0. But the good feelings were soon gone as RHS ran off 6 consecutive points to go up 6-3. Summit could not eat into that lead for a couple of rotations but Eva Oberhuber finally started a Summit run with a kill to zone 1 that ignited a 5-0 run behind the serving of Zacharias who also notched an ace in the run. SHS ran the lead up to 3 with an Alison Wauters kill and things seemed like they were in hand until a 5-0 run by RHS had the Hilltoppers down again 16-14. A Rahway service error gave the Top the chance they needed to get back into the game and after a Roberts tip kill, SHS had re-established the lead at 17-16. Again Rahway responded with a 5-0 run that seemed to doom any chance of a set win as the Hilltoppers saw the scoreboard read 21-17 HOME.
A hitting error by RHS and an ace by Hope Basaman got SHS to within two at 21-19. After a service break by Rahway, the Hilltoppers got a timely kill by Roberts and a subsequent error by the home side and the score read 23-22 HOME. A kill by Rahway seemed to have given the home side all the room they needed with 2 set points but this time SHS responded with a crucial defensive play to stave off a set 1 defeat. That play came in the form of a block through the most unlikely of blocking sources, Zacharias. Wauters followed up with a downball kill and the Top was tied at 24. Zacharias continued serving and RHS could not do much with it, eventually putting the ball into the net. Now holding a set point at 25-26, the Summit squad got the terminating kill from their productive MB Oberhuber for the 26-24 win!
Set 2 seemed eerily familiar as the Top rolled out to a 3-0 lead just to see Rahway erase it and draw even at 5-5. It was Summit this time that had to respond with runs off serve receive and so they did with a 3-0 run, a kill by Webb, Oberhuber and Basaman, to open an 8-5 lead. Through 6 rotations, the 11-10 score-line seemed to be a fair reflection of the set with neither team being consistent enough to put on a great run. Later in the set, Roberts delivered another key kill to knot the score at 15, Julia Nardino ripped an ace and Roberts smashed another kill to get the team ahead 17-15. The match took on a see-saw quality to it and RHS found themselves tied at 20 and looking for more. Rahway benefited from a blocking and serving error to push their lead to 22-20 and Summit found themselves with their backs against the proverbial wall. A serving error got SHS to within one at 21-22 and not much changed a rotation later as the SHS and RHS fan base watched the scoreboard read 23-23. Basaman kept the pressure on with her serving and the RHS squad could not find the answer. Appropriately enough, it was the serving that provided the final nail as Basaman tallied an ace with the score 24-23 to take the set and match 25-23.