There will be a new girls’ volleyball Union County Tournament champion this year, with the top two seeds battling each other for a third time in the championship match.
In Tuesday night’s semifinals at Johnson, second-seeded Roselle Catholic ousted third-seeded and four-time defending champion Union Catholic in two games – winning in dominating fashion by the scores of 25-6 and 25-15 – before top-seeded Westfield ousted fourth-seeded Kent Place in two games, winning by the much closer margins of 25-21 and 25-23.
Friday night”s 7:30 championship match at Kean University’s Harwood Arena in Union will feature second-seeded Roselle Catholic (17-3) vs. top-seeded Westfield (14-6).
Westfield is in the final for the first time since falling to Cranford in two games in 2007. The Blue Devils last won the crown in 2006 when they defeated defending champion Union Catholic in two games.
Roselle Catholic has reached the final for the first time.
The Lions were led by Chrissy Campanelli’s 15 service points, including the final 10 of the match, and Jessica Ciandella’s 25 assists and 12 service points. Roselle Catholic seniors Danielle Franklin and Melissa Sporer registered five kills apiece and junior Calli Scheuermann added six digs and five kills.
The Lions defeated Union Catholic for the second time in three tries after splitting regular season matches with the Vikings.
Roselle Catholic and Westfield also split regular season matches, with both going the three-game distance and the road team winning both times. On Sept. 25 at Westfield, Roselle Catholic lost 25-22 and then won 25-18 and 25-23 for the victory. On Oct. 9 at Roselle Catholic, Westfield lost 25-8, but rebounded to win 25-23 and 25-20 for its triumph.
The junior varsity semifinals were contested Wednesday night at Rahway, with seventh-seeded Elizabeth defeating third-seeded Union Catholic and fifth-seeded Roselle Catholic ousting top-seeded Scotch Plains.
The championship match – between Elizabeth and Roselle Catholic – is Friday at 6 p.m. at Kean, right before the varsity final.
NOTES: Roselle Catholic’s program launched in 2000 – the fall of the 2000-2001 school year.
Present first-year head coach Jason Davila is the program’s first mentor, following E.J. Smith – who helped launch the program – and Don Godfrey.
Roselle Catholic won a parochial state championship and then played in the Tournament of Champions in 2006.
The Lions have also not won a division title. This year, a three-way tie resulted between Roselle Catholic, Union Catholic and Westfield. According to a conference rule, a three-way tie means no division champ.