Monday, June 24, 2019


It is my pleasure to introduce out staff for the 2019 Lady Hilltoppers Volleyball Team!

Link Below also available on Right-Hand Side Menu below About Me

Monday, November 5, 2018


Hey, join our '2019 Lady Hilltoppers Volleyball' group on BAND - The app for groups and communities!

Friday, November 2, 2018


This past Halloween, the Summit Hilltoppers faced off against the Crusaders from ALJ in a non-conference match-up that celebrated the sport's efforts to battle Stage IV cancer through the Side-Out Foundation.  Since 2010, the Side-Out Foundation has been dedicated to funding breast cancer education and cutting-edge breast cancer research/treatment in order to extend the lives of those living with stage IV. Their journey has produced a series of volleyball sponsored clinical trials, funded and managed by Side-Out and its team of leading breast cancer oncologists and molecular biologists. Side-Out’s clinical trials go above and beyond “Standard of Care”, proving multi-omic molecular profiling (including genomic, proteomic, and phosphoproteomic analysis) is beneficial in selecting treatment for late-stage breast cancer.

Prior to the match, friends and family of the Summit Hilltoppers raised $1875 online through the Hilltoppers' Side-Out Foundation web page.  On the 31st,  friends and family of ALJ players and Summit staff and students helped raised an additional $780 to bring the total contribution for the Side-Out Foundation to $2655.

Fans were treated to a great competitive match on JV where the Hilltoppers took set 1 with the upperclasswomen pulling away late.  In set 2, the 9th graders for the Summit squad played an exceptionally competitive match with ALJ and won the key points in the middle of the match to pull away and maintain a lead throughout to give the JV Squad their 16th win of the season and the 3rd best record in program history.

Varsity followed and took a competitive first set 25-23 but failed to capitalize in set 2 as the Crusader blocking and serving forced the Hilltoppers into numerous errors and stalled their offense for a 25-15 loss.  Set 3 was more of the same as the Summit squad could not solve the ALJ service attack and their defense despite 75 attack attempts.  SHS hit for only a 5.3% that reflected the struggles the team had in converting attack opportunities into points as well as producing too many errors in those attacks.

Summit stays at 9 wins for the season but the importance of the day was clearly not on the result but on the efforts and work that the families and athletes of the Summit Lady Hilltoppers Volleyball community who made this an outstandingly successful endeavor.

From Coach Ross and myself, a sincere THANK YOU!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Chatham got to the quarter-finals of the Morris County Tournament,  had just beaten #7 in Group 3, Mendham, and had earned a #12 seed itself for the State Tournament.  Add to those facts that SHS had not beaten Chatham in at least 10 years and you had the makings of another tough match-up for the Hilltoppers.  But the squad who had struggled to close out teams and had lost confidence with every tough late set collapse during the season,  turned in the statement game of the season, beating the Chatham Cougars 25-22, 25-13 in a clinical display of volleyball efficiency despite missing their best ace producer and a top DS.  Summit capitalized on late Cougar errors in set 1 and put down key balls to pull away late and win 25-22.  Set 2 was over early as the Hilltoppers put the foot on the gas and did not let up in a 25-13 win.  The serve receive was a major key in the win as Summit gave up only 4 aces for the match.

Summit jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start set 1 but the Cougars had erased that deficit and earned a 2 point lead after a kill to the outside midway through the set (11-9).  Summit did not wilt under the pressure and had the score knotted at 14 after a Macpherson ace.  Chatham couldn´t read the outside´s serve again and the Cougars´ confidence waivered after the second consecutive ace.  That feeling was never more evident after a Goudreau block gave the Hilltoppers their third consecutive point for a 17-14 lead.  The body language and energy from both sides was all you needed to focus on to see where the game was heading.  Chatham battled back after a time-out and tied the score at 17 but despite all recent evidence to the contrary, Summit held their nerve and outscored Chatham 7-3 in the pressure moments of set 1 (3 kills, 1 ace) to take control and close it out with a 25-22 score line on a Goudreau attack.

Chatham did not recover emotionally and despite recent history to the contrary, Summit showed a killer instinct and ended set 2 early with an 11-0 explosion (5 kills, 2 aces)  led by Trindell's serving (10/10 2 aces).  Summit closed out the set outscoring the Cougars 14-13 to earn one of the most significant victories of the season, if not the most significant.  Could the team continue the momentum from Cranford and Chatham and sweep New Prov for the first time in 7 years?

New Providence was determined to avenge its loss to SHS earlier in the season, especially on their senior night.  With Summit short-handed again with illness issues, the task was made easier for the #2 Mountain Conference squad and they handled the Hilltoppers 25-14, 25-16.  New Providence's serving attack wore down SHS by the 2nd time through the rotation each set and the passing woes gave the team's offense little opportunity to get into rhythm but, despite that, the ladies were able to stay in the match through the midway point thanks to their defense (25 digs).  The team would look to get back to its winning ways on their senior night versus Roselle Catholic.

Senior night was a happy day for the Hilltopper faithful as many fans turned out to say goodbye to its seniors and to to celebrate their impact on the sport at SHS.  Summit rallied back from a 18-25 set 1 loss to dominate in set 2 25-16.  But the deciding set played out as the season has for the most part, with Summit doing enough to get close to a victory at the end just to see it evaporate due to errors and non-aggressive plays.  Summit got out to a small lead early and maintained it nearing the midpoint of the set after a Stocks ace had SHS up by a score of 10-6.  A few rotations later,  RC made a run at the Hilltoppers but Barsh squashed an attack with a solo block and reestablished the 4 point cushion at 14-10.  Roselle Catholic, to their credit, did not give up and fought for every ball, getting to Hilltopper attacks that had been points just 2 rotations before.  RC outscored Summit 4-2 in the next 2 rotations and the lead was down to 2 at 16-14.  Many have seen this play out in the past, with Summit allowing a team to come back late and not being able to score when it needed to do so.  But not this time, not at this point of the season, not after Chatham.

The Maroon and White went on a 5-0 run (2 kills, 1 ace) behind Trindell's serving and the match seemed well in hand at 21-14.  And then, a noticeable mental letdown occurred.  A free ball error followed by a "whose ball is it moment" started to visibly shake the confidence of the Hilltoppers and the athletes began to lose that killer instinct that had been so apparent not 5 minutes before those errors.  Down 23-19, RC went on a 4-0 run to take all the momentum away from Summit and to bring back memories of earlier matches where the ending would be predictably bad for the Hilltoppers.  Barsh would allow the team to breathe with a shot to zone 1 off the Roselle Catholic MB to get SHS ahead at 24-23 but a hitting error gave RC the ball knotted up at 24.  Liu then passed up a good serve to the 10 ft. line that Trindell fed to the outside which was slammed down by Nardino for the shot at another match-point.  Nardino stepped up and delivered a tough serve that caused a subsequent hitting error and this time, the recent play of this team won out as did their mental toughness and Summit closed out the deciding set 26-24 for their 9th victory of the campaign and 3 out of the last 4.

Meanwhile, JV continued to play the 9th graders in set 2 and dropped a 2-0 decision to Chatham, a 2-0 decision to New Providence but beat RC by a 2-0 score.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Summit Varsity had high hopes for this week as it entered state cut-off week with a 6W-10L record, hoping to go on a run that would bring them to a 9W mark and a real shot to qualify for states.  Despite a couple of 3 set thrillers,  Summit could not come out on top in those matches as the team dropped a 2-1 decision to GL, a 2-0 decision to Linden in the first round of counties and a 2-1 decision to Roselle Park.  The team re-gathered and despite missing 4 players due to illness, SHS rallied in the last match of the week and took a 2-1 victory from the Cranford Cougars on the road.

Meanwhile,  JV dropped a 2-0 decision to Governor Livingston with a 9th grade only squad playing in set 2 after the regular lineup dropped set 1.  In the first round of counties,  SHS took care of Plainfield's JV 2-0 and then came back from behind, fighting off multiple match points, to rip the victory from Roselle Park by a 2-1 score.  That victory set up the quarter-final round match versus Cranford, whom Summit had lost to in 3 at home in September.  Despite taking set 1 30-28, the Hilltoppers dropped the next 2 sets 23-25 and 28-26 to bow out of the UCIAC Tourney.

Varsity took GL to the brink with a 23-25, 25-21, 18-25 loss on the road in the first matchup of the week.  Captain Inggs and Macpherson had monster matches with 7 kills apiece, Inggs with a kill % of 50 to lead the team.  SHS could not pressure the Crusaders from the serving line which became the story of set 3 and with only 4 aces in the match, 3 in set 2, the story of the match as well.  The Hilltopper block was a major factor in the match and one of the reasons the team had a shot to win as the front line notched 8 blocks on defense.  Summit also tallied 42 digs to keep many GL attacks off the scoreboard. 

Coming off that disappointing but really positive outing versus the Crusaders, the team was looking to win the rubber match versus Linden in the first round of the UCT.  Unfortunately, Summit could not find its groove and the Tigers came from behind in both sets to beat SHS 25-17, 27-25.
Basically, Summit could not find the floor with its attacks as no Hilltopper hitter notched better than 4 kills for the match.  The hitting percentage told most of the story as SHS managed a meager 3.8% effectiveness.  Summit was able to put pressure on Linden with their serving as the team tallied a 97.7% serve % and kept Linden very often out of system despite not being able to capitalize often enough.  SHS scored another 5 blocks but the main issue was offense, especially in the back end of both sets as the Hilltoppers would come up empty again and again on attacks they needed to push the match to 3 sets. 

SHS then traveled to Roselle Park to be part of their Dig Pink event and hoped to right the ship and give themselves a shot to end the week with a 2w-2l record.  Although the team nailed a 25-19 set 1 win, the squad failed to close out RP in the second and lost 27-25 and fell apart late in set 3 to succumb 25-17.  When a 3 set match fails to produce a hitter with at least 6 kills, it gives you all the info you need to figure out why a team is struggling to win.  Summit attacked 85 balls but managed only 7 kills per set.  The serving game could not get consistent production and barely reached 10% in ace production which then shifted the pressure back to the attack.  The Hilltoppers dug up 36 balls but gave up 12 aces in an overall confusing day for the passing game. 

Illnesses and other issues had the Varsity roster down to 8 on Thursday as the team looked to scrape a win versus the Cranford Cougars.  The task was not a given since the team had not swept Cranford in about 7 years.  Somehow, the team leaned on each other and came away with an impressive 25-19, 23-25, 25-20 victory.  With barely any options on the bench, the front row hitters took ownership of this difficult situation and had 3 players hit for at least 6 kills, the main reason the Maroon and White took the 2-1 decision.  The team was also lethal from the service line as 3 players had at least 4 aces to supplement the offensive barrage.  Summit scored an average of 16.7 points per set and survived a late second set collapse to win all the key points in set 3 to take the game despite all the obstacles this squad faced that day and endured during the week.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


The Hilltoppers came off the loss to the Summit rivals Kent Place Dragons in fairly good spirits. The team had competed with the #1 team, had earned a chance to win a set and had proven that they could score on a team of that caliber.  All it had left to do was put together a complete match against a team of that caliber. And that next opportunity came against the Pioneers of New Providence, a team Summit had not beaten in 7 seasons, that is, until this season.

After 6 rotations Summit had a perfect start against the Pioneer offense who is anchored by one of the county’s best hitters. The Hilltoppers were tied 7-7 after a Barsh tip found an opening in the New Prov defense. But things began to fall apart then as the Pioneers nailed 2 attack attempts, got an ace and a Summit error before the Pioneers missed a serve. However, the damage was done and SHS was looking at the wrong end of an 8-11 score.  As it has been all season long, the character of this team is always its strength and they did not wilt under the pressure and fought back to within 2 at 10-12 after an out of system set by Williamson found Macpherson on the outside who was able to put it down past the Pioneer defense.

But the New Prov side got back to basics and looked to its premier outside hitter to take control and that she did as the Pioneers went on a 7-0 run that, for all intent and purposes, ended any shot the Hilltoppers had at the set win.  New Providence took the set by a 25-13 score.

Things did not look good for a Hilltopper win but the fact was that SHS had served poorly in set 1 and allowed New Prov to dictate the offensive tempo of the match. In addition, the Maroon and White had very little offense to make up for the lack of productivity from the service line as it could only muster 6 kills due to inefficient out of system offense as a result of Pioneer serving pressure.

Set 2 saw a much better passing and offensive performance by the Summit squad.  By Barsh’s serve in rotation 6, SHS had built up a slight lead at 11-9 but once again the New Prov squad went to their ace for a solution and she had the answer, getting the Pioneers back even at 11.  But then the Hilltopper Captain Trindell got a huge solo block to shift the momentum and give the Hilltoppers a 12-11 lead.

Summit tried desperately to extend the lead but the Pioneers would not allow that to happen.  Summit had a point lead until a setting error had a 15-15 result on the scoreboard. New Prov tried to assert its will and break the Hilltopper spirit as the team ripped a 4-0 run (1 NP kill, 2 SHS hitting errors, 1 SHS ball handling fault) to seemingly take control of the set at 19-15.  

As is usually the case in these matches, missed serves can be the reason for a collapse or the opening of a door for a trailing team.  After a missed serve by the Pioneers, the underdog saw hope. The scoreboard showed 16-21 and the Pioneer best player serving. And then the ball hit the net and the Hilltoppers were a mere 4 points away. Stocks sends a screamer over the net on serve and the New Prov pass was off causing a ball handling error on the next ball, 18-21.  Stocks, ace… Stocks, ace… 20-21. Time out New Prov.

Summit still had work to do but the energy level was palpable. Stocks sent the next ball over but the Pioneer serve receive was perfect.  New Prov ran the attack they wanted but Williamson dug it up setting up a Trindell set to Barsh who looked like she was going to drive it through the floor but instead tipped it to zone 4 for the easy kill, 21-21. Stocks, ace… 22-21…

Even though Stocks missed the next ball, the set had become anybody’s game as the 22-22 score indicated. New Prov ripped a tough serve that the Hilltoppers had trouble handling and it forced an error which had the Pioneers up 23-22. Next play, same problem but the Maroon and White managed to return the ball just to see it put down on a great tip. Pioneers, two match points, 24-22. And then, a serving error, 24-23.

Nardino, facing enormous pressure, served up a solid ball facing match point but the Pioneer serve receive had the answer.  This time, the New Prov outside tried an off speed shot to end the Hilltoppers hopes but Macpherson dug it up and Trindell tipped it off the New Prov blocker and out of bounds for a 24-24 result.  Nardino sent a screamer over the net on the next serve and the Pioneers had no other option but to send a free ball over the net. Nardino put that ball on a platter for Trindell who found Macpherson for a kill on the outside to give SHS their first match point.

Nardino’s next service was well handled by the Pioneer defense but the resulting attack was dug up by Stocks.  With the ball and set at their control, Summit went to the outside for the put away but New Prov saved the set with a key dig that led to another outside attack that found the floor on the Hilltopper side, 25-25.

The following Pioneer serve was handled poorly by Summit but their return to the Green and White side caused problems and the Pioneers misplayed the second ball, giving SHS a second match point at 26-25.  Barsh then stepped up to serve with the match on her hands and she delivered a tough serve that forced the Pioneers to attack with an off speed shot that was easily handled by Macpherson. And when everyone in the gym thought the ball was going to go back to her, Trindell ran a middle attack to Goudreau who got a 1 v 1 attack opportunity that she was able to put down for the set win, 27-25.

Despite 7 serving errors, SHS ran off 6 aces, 5 by Stocks.  In contrast, the Maroon and White only gave up 5 to the New Providence squad.  Summit managed only 6 kills but also committed only 2 errors. Six different players earned a kill, showing that the offense couldn’t rely on any one player but would need contributions from everyone if the Hilltoppers were to win another set. SHS would also need another double digit dig performance as the Maroon and White saved 11 balls to keep the Hilltopper chances alive.

The deciding set was one for the ages from a Hilltopper perspective. An ace by New Prov started the set but SHS broke serve with a great kill by Macpherson which got Trindell up to serve tied at 1.  Trindell rattled off 7 service points (1 Macpherson kill, Goudreau block, 2 NP hitting errors, Trindell ace, 1 Skrobala block) in a total team effort that gave the Summit squad the room it needed to carry the set through the finish line.  

From here on out in the deciding set, the Hilltoppers were a reflection of consistency as they prevented any New Province run from materializing with key offensive and defensive plays at various junctions of the set.  Summit had, at one point, a nine point lead on the Pioneers at 13-4 but saw the Pioneers attempt to climb back into the match with a 6-3 run that had New Providence within 6 at 10-16. Another serving error by New Providence gave the Hilltoppers a 17-10 lead and Summit had extended that to 8 points after another Pioneer service error (20-12) .

After the New Providence ace hitter rotated to the front row, Summit knew that however they handled those rotations would determine the outcome.  After a quick 4-0 run had the Pioneers only down by 5 at 16-21. Coach called a timeout and in the subsequent rally, Summit’s well formed block caused a hitting error by the Pioneers that pushed the score to 22-16.  Teams traded points (23-17) but a block by Macpherson saw the Hilltoppers earn 7 match points that they would not waste. On the first match point they earned, Barsh ripped a diving ball that could not be handled by the Pioneer serve receive and with that ace, Summit had pulled the unlikely upset and beaten a New Providence team for the first time in 7 years.  

The squad hit for 3 aces and served at nearly 92%.  Summit was aced 4 times but hit for 9 kills at nearly a 41% rate.  The team also earned another double digit dig total with 11 and blocked the Pioneers 3 times.

For the match, SHS scored on 10 aces led by Stocks with 5.  Summit hit for 21 kills as 7 different players registered a kill.  Defensively, the squad dug up 32 balls led by Williamson with 7. The team also put up an effective wall, registering 5 blocks, Skrobala with 2 of them.

Next up, Governor Livingston on Monday.


The Hilltoppers came into the last half of the week looking to bounce back from a couple of difficult losses to Columbia and Linden.  The team had to knock off the elite in the Mountain Division and #4 in the county, cross-street rival Kent Place.

In their first encounter, Summit was able to hang on and compete for half of each set but the Dragon serving would be the difference in the match, allowing KP to stifle the Summit offense and control the second half of the match, cruising to a solid 2 set victory. SHS was looking to rewrite that story in match 2.

Set 1 saw the Dragons get 2 quick kills by their talented 9th grade OH and contributed 2 errors and quickly fell behind 4-0.  Macpherson finally put the end of the run with a kill from the outside which got the Hilltoppers off the mat. Nardino followed that up with another kill and Liu pounded an ace down to zone 1 and forced an error by their OH to knot the score at 4.  And then the match really began.

No matter how hard the Dragons hit or how well they looked versus the Hilltoppers, the team just kept executing their game and taking opportunities when given despite the Kent Place serving attack.  By rotation 6, Summit had climbed out of the 4-0 hole, had outscored the Dragons 9-5 and saw the scoreboard show 9-9.
By the time Barsh had completed her service rotation, the team saw themselves up 11-10.

As expected, the Dragons did not fold but unlike their first match, Summit refused to give in to the serving pressure and kept making play after play to pressure the KP defense.  After a long rally ended with a thunderous kill by the Dragons from the outside leading to a Dragon 15-14 lead, their first since the opening moments of the match. The tide seemed to have turned.

A pass by Goudreau on the subsequent play led to an attack attempt that was dug up on the next play.  Another hit from the outside by the Dragons was handled by Liu and Nardino tried to put the ball down in transition but to no avail. The subsequent Kent Place Attack was dug up by Trindell and WILLIAMSON set Skrobala up for a well placed dump shot that knotted the score at 15. The energy was palpable and the Summit faithful were hopeful that this would be the day SHS could finish off a top seed.

Within the scope of the next 10 points, Kent Place took control by a two point lead at 20-18 but yet again the Hilltoppers fought back to the dismay of the Dragons with a Macpherson kill and a Goudreau block that ratchet up the tension as Summit tied the score at 20-20.   

Kent Place School took the lead at 21-20 and 22-21 but SHS not only tied the score but, at 22-22, Barsh hit for a kill out of the middle to take the lead 23-22.  KP struck back with 2 kills and had their first match point. Summit had 2 attempts to knot the score up at 24 but could not convert and fell 25-23 after an expected outside kill by the Dragons.

Summit managed only 2 aces in set 1 but the squad served at an 88% clip and despite giving up 5 aces, Summit hit for 12 kills while yielding only 4 errors, the main factor in their first set success. Although Nardino led the way with 4 kills and no errors, it was the fact that SHS had 5 other players getting at least 1 kill, often out of system, that led to their success and close set loss.  

Set 2 saw the continuation of the Summit fighting spirit as they fought back to a 2-2 tie but the physical spirit and energy waned after a draining first set and KP took advantage, finally cracking the Hilltopper receive game, going on a 9-0 run to blow open the set. Summit cut the lead down to 5 after a Dragon hitting error but Summit couldn’t sustain the momentum and eventually fell to the Dragons 25-11.

Summit managed only 2 kills in the set, a product of many factors, but the team just simply couldn’t maintain the momentum into set 2.

Summit served at an 86% clip and were led offensively by Nardino who hit for 5 kills, a kill % of 35.7% and a .286 efficiency.  Next up, New Providence, #2 in Mountain Division.