After falling to Westfield twice in girls’ volleyball regular season play, defending county champion Roselle Catholic received an opportunity to play the Blue Devils one more time.
That was in last Friday night’s Union County Tournament championship match at KeanUniversity’s Harwood Arena in Union.
Seeking to prove that last year’s title was no fluke, the Lions – once again – managed a three-game victory over the Blue Devils en route to their second crown overall.
Second-seeded Roselle Catholic won the first game 27-25, dropped the second 25-15 and then captured the third 25-23 to prevent top-seeded Westfield from winning its first title since 2006.
“The third game came down to concentration and communication,” said Roselle Catholic second-year head coach Jason Davila. “I think losing the second game made it real that Westfield could be the better team.
“If they (the RC Lions) don’t get on the court and play their best as a team, then they will lose whether they win or not. They wanted to be the best and were willing to put everything aside and work for it.
“That is what made the difference.”
Standout senior setter Jessica Ciandella – who will continue playing at StocktonState – had four kills and eight digs and paced the Lions with 24 assists, 14 service points and two aces.
Senior outside hitter Calli Scheuermann paced the team in kills with 15 and also contributed 12 digs, two assists, three service points and one ace.
Senior Sue Riley had four kills, 17 digs, one assist and three service points, while senior Melissa Sheehan had a team-leading 32 digs and four service points.
“The girls all did their part to help the team earn the win,” Davila said. “Melissa Sheehan played better than she has played all season. She really moved well and kept the mistakes to a minimum.
“Calli Scheuermann and Jessica Ciandella really connected for this match like they did in the beginning of the season, which resulted in the points we really needed.”
In the third and deciding game against Westfield, Roselle Catholic scored the last two points to snap a 23-23 deadlock. The 24th point was a kill and the 25th off the net.
Roselle Catholic improved to 23-6 and on Wednesday at 4 p.m. is scheduled to host Wardlaw-Hartridge in the Non-Public playoffs. The Lions are the third seed.
Last year, Roselle Catholic defeated WH in the states in two games.
If RC wins Wednesday, then the Lions will be hosting Oak Knoll or St. Joseph’s, Hammonton in the next round on Friday.
Defending champion Immaculate Heart Academy of Bergen County’s WashingtonTownship is the favorite to win it again. IHA began the week No. 1 in the state and undefeated.
Westfield fell to 17-2 and lost to a UnionCounty team for the first time. Winners of the Union County Conference title, Westfield’s only previous loss was to SomersetCounty school Watchung Hills.
“Two good teams went into the finals,” Davila said. “Even though they (Westfield) beat us twice during the season, we didn’t see ourselves as underdogs.
“We just wanted to play hard and be the first team in our school’s volleyball history to not only win one, but two county championships.”
A GOOD CAST IS WORTH REPEATING:
2013 ROSELLE CATHOLIC GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL,
UCT CHAMPIONS AGAIN!
Jessica Ciandella, senior
Calli Scheuermann, senior
Ally Mroczek, senior
Amanda Johns, sophomore
Ridimerb Diaz, junior
Sue Riley, senior
Myia Williams, senior
Amanda Coccia, junior
Melissa Sheehan, senior
Keyarah Newton, senior
Dawn Gergich, junior
Jodi Daniel, senior
UCT GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONS
2013 – Roselle Catholic def. Westfield – at Kean
27-25, 15-25, 25-23 in final.
2012 – Roselle Catholic def. Westfield – at Kean
19-25, 25-22, 25-14 in final.
2011 – Union Catholic def. Summit – at Kean
25-17, 25-20 in final.
2010 – Union Catholic def. Cranford – at Kean
26-28, 25-22, 25-16 in final.
2009 – Union Catholic def. Cranford – at Union Catholic
25-18, 25-21 in final.
2008 – Union Catholic def. Cranford – at Union Catholic
26-24,17-25, 25-22 in final.
2007 – Cranford def. Westfield – at Westfield
25-18, 25-22 in final.
2006 – Westfield def. Union Catholic – at Westfield
25-19, 25-21 in final.
2005 – Union Catholic def. Rahway
25-22, 25-22 in the final.
2004 – Rahway def. New Providence
25-21, 25-11 in the final.
2003 – Elizabeth def. Union Catholic
25-21, 16-25, 25-18, 25-20 in the final.
2002 – Union Catholic
2001 – Union Catholic
2000 – Union Catholic