Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The Hilltoppers traveled to New Providence to take on the Pioneers in a divisional match-up.  The impact of the loss of MB Georgia Inggs would be on display.  The team weathered the loss of Inggs well as the set 1 loss by 24-26 indicated but key points in the match were decided by long rallies that could've used her height and experience.  Set 2 was a more lopsided affair as the serve receive wasn't quite as sharp as prior matches and the lack of offensive output was more evident in that set.  However, despite being down 8-21,  the team rallied behind Ava Williamson who scored 7 consecutive service points to bring the team back to within 4 at 17-21 before a service error gave the ball back to New Providence and the eventual 18-25 set 2 loss.

Set 1 saw the Hilltoppers get hurt by their own mistakes as the team piled up 12 unforced errors -6 hitting, 4 serving and 1 blocking- which proved to be decisive in the 2 point loss.  Summit managed only 6 kills and 1 ace in the set which exemplified the team's struggles offensively but dug up 20 balls which proved to be the main factor in staying in the set.  Taylor Thompson tallied 8 of the 20 digs and had 2 kills to pace the Maroon and White's efforts.  The team brought in Kate McPherson on the outside to generate a spark and despite a slow start (3 attempts, 2 errors), KMAC finished the set with 2 kills in 4 attempts with 0 errors to give Summit hope in the match.  The Hilltoppers also kept themselves in the set despite the lack of offense thanks to the serve receive prowess of Williamson and Thompson who took 10 of the 15 serves at them for a 2.1 combined rating.

Set 2 was just as anemic offensively (6 kills) but KMAC was a perfect 3 for 6 with no errors from the outside which gave the Hilltoppers a hint of what the team may be able to rely upon in the future.  Williamson hit for a team leading 3 aces in the set during a 7 point service run which buoyed the Hilltopper offense from the service line in the set.  Thompson and Williamson again combined for over 50% of the serve receptions combining for a 2.05 pass rating in the set which helped keep Summit's chances for a comeback alive.  The inability to score on rallies late in the set as the team had pulled to within 4 proved to be the main factor in the set loss as the team was out-gunned 3-0 in the closing points despite having a 7-4 attack attempt edge in the sequence.  Summit added another 19 digs to the match total (39) led by Williamson's 6 in the set.

McPherson was the light at the end of the tunnel for the Maroon and White as she hit for 5 kills and 1 error after the slow start midway in set 1 to lead the team for the match.


The young JV squad got their 5th consecutive win and have the best start in program history behind timely serving and an improved serve receive offense that resulted in 1 19-25, 25-16, 15-13 three set victory over the Pioneers.

The victory was a total team effort as almost every one of the players had a hand in the victory.  The Pioneers prevented the normally reliable ace machines of the Maroon and White to score but the tough serving also held the Pioneer offense in check. The difference in set 1 was New Providence's serving as the Green and White rattled off 7 straight points in one rotation that created a 5 point lead the Pioneers would not relinquish.

The tone of set 2 was set by Luisa Esquivel who started the set with a sprawling perfect pass that led to a kill and she continued to be a factor in the set tallying 4 digs and getting a kill of her own.  The early defensive effort set the tone for the team and Summit would use their offense to put away the Pioneers late in the set when the lead was a mere 3 points (16-13) going on a 9-3 run that closed New Providence out 25-14.

Set 3 was a battle of serving as both teams took each other's best shot from behind the service line and yet the teams were deadlocked at 6 after 3 rotations.  Summit then pulled a 5-1 run that seemed to give the crew an insurmountable lead at 11-7.  Credit to New Providence who didn't wilt but rather used their serving pressure to go on a 6-2 run and run the score to 13 all.  Cassandra Hrehorovich stepped up then under tremendous pressure and delivered to key serves that forced the Pioneers into out of system attacks that went awry and closed out the match 15-13 in favor of the Hilltoppers.

There were a lot of heroes in the match but some players stood out within the flow of the game.  Sarah Maldonado had a good overall game, tallying 4 digs and adding 3 kills. Megan Gregory continued her torrid offensive pace putting away another 6 kills.  Abby Doyle dished out 5 assists, added 2 kills and 1 ace.  Annabella Yorio was a factor in the front with 3 kills and chipped in 4 digs.  Casey Walsh was the team leader with 5 digs and Kyra Guenther was active at the net, dishing out 3 assists to go along with her 2 digs.  Esquivel, the key to the second set comeback, was all over the court, digging up 4 balls, adding 1 kill and tallying 2 assists.

Next up for the scorching hot JV Squad will be the Dragons of Kent Place, 11:30am, Saturday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


The Hilltoppers won a tight 25-21, 25-21 match versus the Raiders of SPF yesterday notching their first win versus this squad in 6 years on both levels.

Summit could not have asked for a more trying start to the match as the squad lost team kill leader Georgia Inggs to a broken hand in rotation 6 forcing Sylvie Goudreau into her first regular season action of the campaign under extremely stressful conditions.

The loss of Inggs was immediately felt as the team could not generate the consistent offense it was accustomed to in the prior 3 matches.  Summit managed only 6 kills and hit for only .100 in the set led by Captain Taylor Thompson's 3 kills.  But SHS relied on their serving to make up the difference offensively as the Maroon and White pounded out 7 aces led again by Thompson who hit for 4.  The team also added 2 blocks as Lauren Trindell paired up with Thompson and Carmel Barsh to lead the way defensively.  But the key to the set was the outstanding passing on serve receive by 9th grade Libero Ava Williamson (8 receptions for a 2.50 rating) and Thompson (7 receptions for a 2.42 rating) who kept the team calm during the stress of the Inggs loss.

The set turned on a key dig by Tessa Pulgar that led to a Williamson kill which was followed by a key kill by Alisha McDonnell on a setter dump that put Summit up by 3 at 18-15, a lead they would not relinquish as they closed out the set 25-21.

Set 2 started off horribly for the Hilltoppers as 2 missed serves and 2 hitting errors had the team down 7-1 to Scotch Plains.  Taylor Thompson got the team closer within her service rotation hitting for an ace and forcing the Raiders into free ball attempts or errors on offense that had Summit only down 3 (5-8) by the end of her serve.  The passing was again key for the Hilltoppers as 12 of the 20 passes went to Williamson (2.60 rating) and Thompson (2.00 rating) who helped McDonnell distribute the offensive responsibility throughout the entire lineup (6 players combined for 10 kills).  The squad was again only able to hit for a .120 efficiency but added 2 aces and 2 solo blocks (Goudreau and Barsh) to score 14 points in the set.

Summit tied the set at 8, trailed 14-11 and tied it thanks to McDonnell's serving just to see SPF get the lead back and actually take the lead at 21-19 later in the set.  A Goudreau kill and 2 Raider errors had Summit up by 1 at 22-21 in a matter of minutes and the team came off a predictable SPF timeout to hit for a Camille Della Piazza ace that broke the Raider spirit and gave the squad a 23-21 lead. A Kate McPherson kill pushed the lead to 24-21 and a Raider error closed out the set and match 25-21.

HIGHLIGHTS: (posted soon)

The team will look to improve to 3W-2L today at New Providence.


JV rolled to a 2-0 win versus SPF whom the program had not beaten in 6 years. The team relied on its serving (11 aces) and offense (11 kills) to subdue the Raiders.  Meghan Tarashuk was key in the deciding set, nailing 3 aces on a run that put the team up for good and adding 4 digs on key points to keep the Raider offense at bay.  Annabella Yorio was also a tone setter in set 1 as her 3 kills and 0 errors in 6 swings led the Hilltopper offense to the victory.

The team will attempt to improve to 5W-0L today at New Providence.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


The Varsity Squad faced off at home versus divisional rival Linden looking to go 2w-1l for the first time since 2010 early in the season.  The team again started off slow, losing the first set 18-25 but roared back in the 2nd for a 25-14 win.  SHS couldn't finish the job though as Linden overwhelmed the Maroon and White 25-8 in the deciding set.

The first set was dominated by Georgia Inggs who led all scorers with 4 kills out of 5 swings but the team did not have any other options going offensively.  The team was also weak from the service line getting 1 ace but netting 3 balls.  Summit got outscored 13-8 in the set which accounted for most of the set 1 loss difference of 7 points.

Set 2 was a much different story as the team struggled early but got point production from 8 different players and outscored Linden by 11 by a 17-6 tally.  Summit pounded out 10 kills with only 2 errors led by Lauren Trindell and Katie Samay who combined for 6 kills in 9 attempts with 0 errors. The team also hit for 5 aces in the set with 4 players scoring from the service line.  Summit also scored 2 blocks as the squad just shut down the Linden offense.

Set 3 was over quickly as the team spotted Linden a 5-1 lead and just could never get into any rhythm   after that.  The 25-8 score was reflective of the Summit struggles in the set that were fueled by poor passing on receive and in free ball opportunities.  SHS scored a mere 5 points in the set while Linden hit for 18 points including 6 aces.

Despite the lopsided third set loss, Summit was outscored by only 4 (34-30) for the match and the difference was truly the first set as both teams dominated each other in the last 2 sets.

Katie Samay was a consistent offensive weapon as she hit for 5 kills on 12 swings with no errors for a .417 hitting and kill %, the best on the team by far.

Tessa Pulgar was the shining light on serve receive with a 2.00 pass rating while Ava Williamson and Taylor Thompson led the way defensively with 4 digs apiece.

The team is off until next Monday when they start the first of 4 matches in a 6 day stretch that may very well determine this team's fortunes this year.



Summit continued its winning streak with a 25-20, 25-21 victory over the Linden Tigers in a match where the Summit serving and offense once again carried the team to victory.

Abby Doyle had a productive day, dishing out 5 assists and hitting for 6 aces in the match.  Teammate Kyra Guenther also dished out 7 assists and added 2 kills in the win.  The offense ws carried by Annabella Yorio and Megan Gregory who combined for 11 kills (Yorio 6 and Gregory 5) to pace the Hilltopper offense.  Ava Calabrese and Gabby Guidetti also shone from the service line, Calabrese hitting for 3 aces and Guidetti for 4 to round out the point scoring.

Summit will look to continue their hot start on Monday versus Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Summit opened at home on Friday against Rahway looking for their first win. The focus for the team was improving their serving efficiency and their passing efficiency after the loss to Union. 

The start of the match not look very promising as Summit found themselves down 9-3 early. Captain Taylor Thompson then stepped up to serve and ran off five consecutive service points to bring the the team back within one at 8-9.  The Hilltoppers did not manage to get any closer and by the end of the sixth rotation was trailing 15 to 12 and after seven the lead had increased to 17-13. The Maroon and White could not cut into that four point lead which turned out to be the winning margin for Rahway 25 to 21.

The 2nd set was a very even affair through 6 rotations with Rahway and Summit separated by a point (10-9) in favor of the Maroon and White. Captain Alisha Mcdonnell stepped up then with 5 service points that featured 2 kills by Georgia Inggs and 1 by Captain Taylor Thompson mixed in with 2 Mcdonnell aces giving SHS an insurmountable 16-11 lead.  Summit outscored Rahway 9-7 the rest of the set to seal the set and force a 3rd and decisive set 3.

After 6 rotations, the deciding set was going as expected, a tight affair with both teams scrambling for every ball. SHS led 8-7 but kills by Carmel Barsh and Taylor Thompson gave the team the continued offensive consistency from Set 2.  Yet again Mcdonnell served the team to a lead it would not relinquish with 7 straight service points. In the run, kills by Inggs, Lauren Trindell and Thompson with 2 aces by Mcdonnell set the team up for the win as the squad blew the game open taking a 16-8 lead.  

Georgia Inggs led the team with 7 kills and Taylor Thompson was close behind with 6.  Carmel Barsh closed out the bulk of the Hilltopper offense with 5 kills in the win.  Alisha McDonnell was the star from the service line leading the team in service points and sharing the ace lead with Thompson with 3 aces.

Defensively, Lauren Trindell led the team with 2 blocks and 9th grader Ava Williamson had a team leading 10 digs and passed a team leading 23 balls for a 2.43 rating.

McDonnell ran the offense impeccably, dishing out 19 assists to 6 different players.


Up next for the Hilltoppers, division rival Linden, Tuesday, September 12th, 5:30pm.


The JV Squad earned its second victory of 2017 with a dominant 25-9, 25-13 victory over Rahway.  The first set was dictated by the serving prowess of the Maroon and White as the team ripped off the victory in just 5 rotations.  Cassandra Hrehorovich started the squad off with 4 straight service points (2 aces) to open the match with a 4-0 lead.  After Rahway closed to within 1 at 4-3, Abby Doyle then ran off 5 straight service points
(3 aces) to open up a 10-3 lead.  Rahway made another mini-run to get to a 10-6 deficit but Gabby Guidetti continued the JV onslaught with 7 service points (3 aces) which gave SHS an insurmountable 18-6 lead.  Ava Calabrese finished off Rahway 2 rotations later with 5 straight service points (2 aces) to close out Rahway in set 1.

Set 2 was more of the same.  Sarah Brennan opened up the Hilltopper lead with 5 service points (3 aces) that had Summit up 8-4.  That lead remained until rotation 6 when Maddie Murphy ran off 3 points (1 ace) to extend the lead to 18-10.  Doyle and Brennan then combined for 8 service points (4 aces combined) in the next 2 rotations to close out the set and match, 25-13.

JV will attempt to go 3-0 vs. Linden on Tuesday.


Summit played Union for their season opening 2017 match looking for a win against this divisional favorite. Hilltoppers were very competitive and fought Union to a tight 25-21, set 1 loss which was decided by a few errors by the Maroon and White from the service line.

Second set fell apart for the Hilltoppers as they lost set 2 by a 25-9 score due to serve receive and serving issues that plagued the team throughout.

Captain Taylor Thompson and middle blocker Georgia Inggs led the Hilltoppers with 4 kills apiece in the loss. 

The team looked to right the ship vs. Rahway in their season opener the following match.


The 9th grade heavy JV Squad used the serving of Abby Doyle, Kyra Guenther and Ava Calabrese to keep the Farmers at bay while Megan Gregory was a kill machine with a team leading 6 kills to pace the Maroon and White to a 2-1 upset victory (25-23 deciding set) over Union.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


The last time Summit earned a victory over the Farmers of Union was in 2014, a 2-1 win at Summit.  Since then, the Farmers have owned SHS, winning the last 5 matches in a row, dropping only 1 set in that span.  The Hilltoppers hope to buck the trend as they open the 2017 season in Union on Sept. 7th.

Rahway is Summit's home opener on the 8th and the Maroon and White have had a good rivalry with the Indians over the past three years.  Summit has split each of the season series in the last three years. In 2014, the teams won their respective matches at home by 2-1 margins.  In 2015, the Hilltoppers lost handily at home in the opening match in the season series but avenged that loss on the road with a 2-1 win.  2016 saw the Hilltoppers drop a 2-1 decision on the road but later in the season steamrolled the Indians 25-6, 25-19 in a decisive 2-0 victory.

The Maroon and White's outlook for the 2017 season is bright but serving consistency and offensive production will be the keys to Summit's fortunes, especially against the Union Farmers and the Rahway Indians.