As the fall sports season nears an end, Ridgewood’s volleyball team is focused on improving their record and succeeding in the County and State tournaments. With a record of 6-8, the girls hope to build on their number of wins in their last few matches. This includes games against Bloomfield, Hackensack, IHA, AHA, and Mahwah.
The team has played some of its most important matches in the last few weeks. On Friday, October 2, Northern Valley Demarest traveled to Ridgewood’s gym to compete. Although the match resulted in a loss for the Maroons, they were satisfied in that they were able to bring this tough competitor to a third set by defeating them 26-24 in the second set. The team redeemed themselves by defeated both Bergenfield and Paramus Catholic the following week.
Unfortunately, the Maroons’ schedule lined up two of their most competitive matches on October 9 and 13. First, Ridgewood faced off against Ramapo, whose team is stacked with several outstanding underclassmen. The Maroons lost in two sets, playing both to a tight score of 25-22. Then, the girls were defeated by Paramus in two sets, 25-13 and 25-11. They walked away feeling dissatisfied with this match, convinced that they could have played with more energy and determination.
Despite these troubling losses, Ridgewood was committed to pursuing a win. They did so against Becton on October 14, obtaining the victory in three sets. The following day was the annual breast and ovarian cancer awareness game against Indian Hills, dubbed “Block Out Cancer.” A bake sale and t-shirt sale collected money for the cause, as fans were invited to show their support by wearing pink. After Ridgewood defeated the Indians in the first set, the team threw mini pink volleyballs to spectators as an additional tribute to the cause. Caroline Elliot scored the winning point with an outside kill, making the night an overall success in a 2-set victory.
The following night, however, the girls were disappointed with their performance. Traveling to Northern Highlands for their pink out night, Ridgewood became overly confident after winning the first set. In the next two sets, Northern Highlands refused to relent and came out victorious. Although frustrated with this result, the Maroons set out to redeem themselves the next morning at Leonia High School, where they played in the first round of the county tournament. The girls started out stronger than ever, leading by seven points during a portion of the first set. Despite Leonia’s strong hitters and fierce defense, Ridgewood secured the win in two sets. Senior defensive specialist Jessi Schlicht commented, “That was one of the best games we have played all season.” Coach Knott was so impressed with the team’s efforts that he took the girls for a pit stop at Baskin Robbins on the ride home.
As the team proceeds to the second round of the county tournament, they will face off against IHA on Saturday, October 24. The girls know that the match will be an uphill battle, but they are ready to take on the challenge. In the meantime, they have several matches left on their schedule before finishing out the season. The results of these games will determine whether or not they qualify for the state tournament.