The Raritan Rockets of Hazlet, NJ took the 40 minute trip north to face off against the home team, the Lady Hilltoppers of SHS, on Senior Night, an event always filled with emotion which signals that the season is reaching its end point.
JV kicked off the festivities with a tough serving Raritan side which proved too tough in the first 2 rotations for the Summit side to stop and the Hilltoppers found themselves down 8-4 very quickly. Not much changed for either side through rotation 6 and the Top still trailed 15-10 as the Rockets’ best server came up again. This time, however, the Summit squad broke serve without losing a point and managed to get 1 themselves to cut the lead to 16-12. A 4 point run by the Raritan JV could have been the clear message that the set was lost but the Hilltoppers responded with a 4-0 run of their own behind Naya Kim to keep SHS in the mix at 20-16. But Summit could not muster much else even though they broke Raritan on the next play to stay within 4 at 21-17, they could not keep the serving pressure up and dropped set 1 25-17.
Set 2 began ominously similar to set 1 with the Rockets’ best server spotting the Raritan crew a 5-1 lead. Again, nothing much happened over the next 4 rotations as both teams failed to get any run going in any rotation. With the score 10-6 Raritan, the Top got an unexpected but dominant 9-0 run by Kate Cooper to put the home side up 15-11 at the end of rotation 6. Just a mere rotation later, Emily Griffith sealed the set essentially with a 4-0 run that pushed the lead to 20-12. But Raritan was far from done and over the next rotation the Rockets outscored the Top 5-1 and the Hilltoppers felt the pressure of being chased with RHS trailing only by a 21-17 tally. Abby Wells relieved the pressure however and sealed the set 2 win with a 3-0 run (2 aces) to push a 3rd and deciding with a 25-16 score.
Set 3 was yet again a tough start for the Top and the home side just could not generate anything off their serve which pretty much sealed their fate by rotation 6 as the scoreline read 23-8. Coach Ross implored the Hilltoppers to fight on and not to end the season this way and the squad responded with its back against the wall at 24-9 and the team rallied behind Abby Wells again who ripped 9-0 run (4 aces) to bring the team back with a glimmer of hope at 23-19! Raritan broke serve to get its first match point but SHS broke serve and the team had a shot at 24-20. Emily Demm got Summit one more point at 24-21 but the comeback fell short and the Hilltoppers lost 25-21 for only their 3rd loss of the season.
Summit finishes the year 15W-3L (2nd highest # of wins), a winning percentage of 83.3% (3rd best ever), a Quarterfinalist in the County Tournament and #1 JV Squad in the Mountain Division.