Week 7 Girls Volleyball Shore 16
A weekend full of Shore Conference Tournament play saw the Shore 16’s number one, two, three and five in the semi finals, with No. 1 Southern Regional beating No. 2 Donovan Catholic in straight sets in the Finals. Barring an unforeseen event in the playoffs, our top teams are locked in to their rankings after posting dominant 2023 campaigns full of personal accolades and achievements.
There were a few surprises in the tournament which gave a little shake up to the mid ranked teams. Here’s this weeks Shore 16.
1) Southern Regional (26-2, 14-0) Last Week: 1
Back-to-back Shore Conference champions has a nice ring to it. The Rams had a job to do, and finished the job in an expeditious high quality fashion without even approaching a lost set. The Rams also handled Class A South all season long and similarly did not lose one set to an A South opponent. With a number one seed in South Jersey Group IV, the season has just begun for the Rams.
2) Donovan Catholic (25-3, 13-0) Last Week: 2
The Griffins aspirations all season long has never left the program, as they made it back to the Shore Conference finals for their second straight season. While the Griffins were unable to complete the upset and take over number one, the season has been nothing but a success for the program. The loss to Southern will only have the Griffins stronger for the state tournament, as they find themselves as the team to beat in the juggernaut Non-Public Group A. There's no reason to doubt the run that's in store for the Griffins of Donovan Catholic as the expectations are to hang a banner in the coming weeks.
3) St. John Vianney (19-5, 12-0) Last Week: 3
The Lady Lancers did everything in their power to battle with Donovan Catholic in the semifinals, and should hold their heads high from a match well played. Both sets were won in six points or less, as the Lancers held leads in each set. SJV is a parochial powerhouse that can compete with any team in their Non-Public Group. Their loss to Donovan does not ding them due to their quality of play.
4) Barnegat (19-4, 9-3) Last Week: 5
An incredible season continued for the Bengals with three-set wins over No. 12 Toms River East and No. 13 Marlboro. The Bengals found themselves with their backs against the wall in both, having to work from being a set down but came out victorious. While Southern proved to be too much for the Bengals, their victory over No. 13 Marlboro who beat No. 4 Howell is enough to grant them the four hole. With the number one seed wrapped up for states, home-court advantage awaits as another magical portion of 2023 could be unfolding.
5) Middletown South (13-6, 10-2) Last Week: 6
The Eagles found themselves making history in the round of 16 of the Shore Conference Tournament, winning the programs first ever tournament match over No. 9 Raritan. In what's already been a season of "outperforming" expectations, the Eagles took it one step further. Now, with the regulat season coming to a close, a new season for a state title run begind. As we've said all season long, watch out for this team to get hot. If they're on their A-game, this is a team nobody wants to draw.
6) Jackson Liberty (15-6, 7-5) Last Week: 7
The Lions will find themselves with a tune-up game with Point Beach prior to states culminating, with an opening round at home against Camden Eastside awaiting. The Lions season inside the Shore Conference came to a tough ending after being taken down by No. 3 St. John Vianney in two sets. A fifteen-win program coming into states is something the field should take into consideration. When you look at the schedule that the Lions have had to deal with, you wouldn't think their record would be where it is. Stay alert of Jackson Liberty.
7) Howell (17-3, 11-1) Last Week: 4
The Rebels hopes inside the SCT quickly came to an end inside the round of 16, as they were upset by No. 13 Marlboro in three sets. While it wasn't the most fitting of exits for the program, there's something about the Rebels that makes you think it was all a fluke. All can be quickly forgotten with a strong start to state playoffs. Their first task will be a date with Cherokee at home, looking to reboot their 2023 and get on a run late.
8) Pinelands (15-10, 7-6) Last Week: 12
The Wildcats were able to escape the round of 16 with a two-set victory over No. 10 Brick Memorial, finding themselves faced up against No. 2 Donovan Catholic which marked the end of their Shore Conference Tournament hopes. This season has been nothing but a success for the Wildcats. They've played up to their competition all season long while staying inside the rankings throughout the entirety of 2023. The Wildcats will open up with Ocean City to start off South Jersey Group III. If the Wildcats can continue their pace of play that they've provided all season, Pinelands should remain the favorites in SJG3.
9) Raritan (11-7, 7-5) Last Week: 10
The Rockets were unable to escape out of the round of 16 but gained a lot of positives out of it. Another team that has outperformed expectations all season long, the Rockets will look to reset against Newark Central to start off Central Jersey Group II. The Rockets have their freshman weapon in Sophie Papagiannakis, and with the chemistry that this team possesses and the skillmaking that comes from their assets, the Rockets will be a tough challenge for anybody in their way.
10) Marlboro (11-8, 7-5) Last Week: 16
The largest jump in this weeks rankings goes to the Mustangs, who found themselves dancing into the quarterfinals inside the SCT. It started off with a three-set thriller over Howell, taking down their divisional rival for the first time all season, but at the most important time. The Mustangs had multiple opportunities to win against Barnegat, but were unable to seal the deal. What the Mustangs proved is that they're an extremely battle-tested team with playmakers. Coach Walsh has done an exceptional job all season long, looking to continue their hot stretch into states.
11) Red Bank Catholic (13-8, 8-4) Last Week: 9
While there was promise for the Caseys to make a run in the Shore Conference Tournament, they’re chances ended after meeting Jackson Liberty. As the Caseys would've liked to advanced further, the programs mind has now shifted towards making a run inside Non Public Group A. They'll be faced with St. John Vianney in the opening round, a matchup the Caseys have been faced with twice before in 2023. A win against divisional foe in the playoffs would be statement win the Caseys have been seeking all season.
12) Brick Memorial (14-7, 10-4) Last Week: 8
The Mustangs were challenged by Pinelands which promptly ended their time in the Shore Conference Tournament. After a 4-19 season just a year ago, Coach Trembulak has done a fantastic job getting the Mustangs back to their roots. With a 14 win season, what's to say one or two more can't happen in Central Jersey Group III? Their first opponent is cross-town rival Brick Township.
13) Rumson-Fair Haven (11-9, 6-6) Last Week: 11
The Bulldogs were able to sneak in an opening round three-set victory over Toms River North in the Shore Conference Tournament before meeting up with the reigning champs No. 1 Southern Regional. The Bulldogs got back to business and took down No. 5 Middletown South in straight sets to get themselves prepared for states. Rumson-Fair Haven will open up with Lincoln at home in Central Jersey Group II as number 13 in the Shore 16.
14) Central Regional (12-8, 8-6) Last Week: 14
Central Regional saw themselves flying high after their opening round victory over No. 19 Keyport in the Shore Conference Tournament. The Golden Eagles were incredibly impressive and won in overwhelming fashion. As the Lancers of St. John Vianney were too much for Central in the round of 16, the Golden Eagles took significant strides and continued to play right with strong competition. The Golden Eagles will start their quest at a state championship with a trip to Cherry Hill East.
15) Point Beach (13-10, 9-2) Last Week: 13
Point Beach drew division rival St. Rose in the opening round of the Shore Conference Tournament and came away with an opening round victory off the heels of a Class B Central title. Coach Hanniffy talked about playing strong competition to get prepared for states and that's exactly what the Garnet Gulls will be doing with Brick Memorial and Jackson Liberty. While these will be tune-up matches, these are the type of matches that'll have the Garnet Gulls ready to make a serious run in South Jersey Group I.
16) Colts Neck (9-11, 6-6) Last Week: N/R
It's been since week one that the Cougars found themselves inside the Shore 16 and they had to fight to get back inside. After a grueling 0-4 start to their campaign, the Cougars have been able to settle down and go 9-7 down the stretch. The Cougars went 6-6 in Class A North. The reigning Central Jersey Group III champs know all too well that everyone is 0-0 to start the playoffs. Now that these girls have clicked, it would not be surprising to see Savannah Butz, Stacy Mancino, Kendra Thor and company in the finals.
Toms River North (7-8)
Keep an Eye On:
Toms River East (10-10, 9-5) Last Week: N/R
The Raiders find themselves back inside the Shore 16 after a relatively quiet, but successful week. After taking down Jackson Memorial in straight sets, the Raiders travelled on the road to Barnegat for the round of 16 inside the SCT. The Raiders were one set away from moving into the quarterfinals before the Bengals stifled their chances late. While the Raiders have had their stretches of inconsistency throughout, they've also proved that they can rattle off big-time wins in big-time situations. Cherry Hill West travels to the Raiders for their opening matchup inside SJG3. How far can the Raiders go?