Varsity may look back at the New Providence loss as the turning point for their season. Since that loss, the Hilltoppers have gone 7W-0L dropping only one set in the run and winning 5 consecutive games on the road, the longest away winning streak in a decade! The match began very evenly with NP taking a slight lead at 4-2 by rotation 2 but a Vivian Roberts kill had Summit back in the set and it sparked a 6-0 run that saw Eva Oberhuber and Allison Wauters get kills and Torie MacArthur rip 2 aces. Despite a break of serve, Summit kept the pressure up with Wauters yet again adding to her offensive tally with kills #2 and #3 and Hope Basaman nailing an OPP attack that forced a Pioneer time-out with SHS up 11-5. The Hilltoppers lost the point right after the time-out but another Basaman kill had the Top on another run with sophomore Setter Zoe Zacharias getting into the offensive mix with a setter dump to give SHS the 14-6 lead. NP cut the lead down to 15-10 over the next couple of rotations but the Top used Roberts again to steady the ship as the junior OH notched a kill and an ace to solidify the Hilltopper lead at 20-12. The Pioneers cut the lead down to 22-17 over the next few rotations but to no avail as the Summit squad closed out the set with kills by Wauters, Nardino and Roberts to close out the set 25-17.
Set two had the Pioneers jump out to a 3-1 lead that seemed to exist until rotation 7 with the scoreboard showing 9-6 NP. Basaman got a tip kill to move SHS to within 2 and after a Pioneer hitting error, Roberts stuff blocked the New Providence OPP for a 9-9 score line that forced a NP time-out. The time-out was key as the Top were on the wrong end of a 3-0 run that had reestablished the Pioneer lead to 12-10.
Aya Laws had been working all season to improve her service game but had yet to test out all her hard work in a real match. That is, until this game. Laws was put into the match at 10-12 NP and in her first pressure serve of the season, the senior executed a good serve that led to an attack easily handled by Sarah Noa and put away by Oberhuber. The senior DS followed that serve up with an ace and SHS had tied the set at 12. Later in the set, Oberhuber was yet again the villain from a New Providence perspective with a kill to zone one that had NP looking to use their second time-out to stem the tide. And so they did, generating a 3-0 run that had New Providence up 20-16.
A block by Cece Webb started the emotional comeback. Noa served up an ace and Roberts ripped another kill to push SHS to within 1 at 20-19. New Prov stayed ahead of the Summit squad with 2 SHS errors but at 23-20, NP suffered a serving error that had the Top only down 23-21 and followed that up with two other errors thanks to the serving of Laws. The Pioneers soon earned a set point at 24-23 but Roberts smashed a kill to zone 1 to stave off the set loss and Webb followed suit with a kill of her own after a MacArthur serve forced the Pioneers into a free ball. MacArthur sent another tough ball over the net at set and match point which the Pioneers could not return and the match was over with a 26-24 set and match win to move to 11W-3L.
JV and Varsity will begin their County Tournament run on Tuesday, October 12th, at home versus Linden on both levels! 4pm JV, Varsity to follow.