Buzzing at Barnegat: Showing the Shore Who the Bengals Are
RUMSON -- Barnegat knew that there would be questions entering the season. How will they perform under a new coach? Will the chemistry remain intact? How will the group respond early on?
There's been a bright light provided on the Barnegat Bengals girls volleyball program under new head coach Emily Dancisin. The No. 9 team in the Shore continued to make an early statement after topping No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven in straight sets for their second consecutive victory.
"There's so much skill just waiting to be corralled in," Coach Dancisin said about the program. "They all have the talent, they just need to have the (same) confidence in themselves which they've had."
After taking down No. 5 Pinelands to open up the season, the Bengals took a road trip to Rumson to face the fifth-ranked Bulldogs on Monday afternoon.
Barnegat opened up on a 7-3 run in the first set, largely due to Cassidi Van Horn's five consecutive service points.
Annabella Fraim continued to have a strong start to the season, adding 24 assists throughout the match.
Defense, offense, and team chemistry were firing on all cylinders, even when the Bengals were tested.
Barnegat was able to get out to a 15-9 lead in the first set before Rumson started to battle back. Rumson was able to tie the first set at 23, but Barnegat's Ashley Berger had a different idea.
Leading the team in kills with 15, Berger came out firing and helped the Bengals close the first set, 25-23.
"They all bring the experience," Dancisin said. "They've been here before. They play year-round. They know how to adapt to these situations. There's a stern outlook on things. Being down two points doesn't mean much in these games especially when it's all about having the last say."
Barnegat's Brooke DeGrazio continued her strong play with 11 digs, 8 service points, and 4 aces. Half of her service points came on a 6-0 run after Rumson made it 4-3 to start the second set.
Another big contributor for Barnegat came from Taralynn Charland, who was all over the court and had a team-high 13 digs.
Rumson once again battled throughout the second set, making it a 12-10 game before Barnegat called its only timeout throughout the match.
The key roles of Berger, DeGrazio, and Van Horn ultimately proved to lift the Bengals to victory, as Barnegat closed out the second set, winning 25-16.
"If you enjoy what you're doing, then you're going to be successful," Dancisin said. "If you watch the game, you can see the hype that the girls bring to the court. Take it game by game and improve on what needs to be fixed."
This is Barnegat's first 2-0 start since 2020 with the program soaring for high aspirations. The Bengals will host Cinnaminson on Tuesday before one of their biggest tests in facing No. 2 Donovan Catholic.
Given the talent within the program and the leadership their new head coach is bringing, there's no limit on how far they can go. There's high energy running rampant and the Bengals have a team focused on today.
Rumson-Fair Haven (0-2)
-Ashley Berger: 15 Kills, 7 Digs, 3 Service Points, 1 Ace
Brooke DeGrazio: 11 Digs, 8 Service Points, 4 Aces
-Annabella Fraim: 24 Assists, 6 Digs, 2 Service Points
-Cassidi Van Horn: 7 Service Points, 6 Digs, 5 Kills, 3 Aces
-Taralynn Charland: 13 Digs, 1 Service Point