BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Just a few days after top-seeded Bloomfield Boys Volleyball captured the Essex County Tournament by sweeping Livingston Lancers on Saturday, the Bengals swept Hackensack Comets 2-0 (25-12 and 27-25) in the first-round of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1 Tournament on Tuesday at Bloomfield High School.

Senior Christian Voicu led Bloomfield with a team-high 7 kills, 2 blocks and 4 digs.  Senior James Bonilla added 6 kills, 2 blocks and 2 digs, junior Nikkoli Samonte had 2 aces and 3 digs, and junior Dante Gibbs chipped in with 3 kill and 4 blocks.

Senior Jayson Lopez set the table for the Bengals with a game-high 17 assists and 5 digs, while junior Mathew Fong contributed 2 assists and 8 digs.

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“I felt that in game one, we came out with good energy, as the beginning of the game was pretty close and then we just started pulling away as we had a more efficient offense with good serving,” Head Coach Louis Stevens told TAP.  “In game two, I don’t know what happened, I think our energy level dipped a little bit and our actions showed like we played like we knew we were going to win and we didn’t play as hard and it almost cost us – we can’t afford to do that.  This is one and done now.”

With the victory, the Bengals improve their overall season record to 20-5, while Hackensack ends their season at 14-10.

The Bengals advance to face cross-town rival Belleville on Thursday, May 23, 4:30 pm at Bloomfield High School.

“Belleville is a league rival and we’ve played them twice during the regular season – the first time was at their place and we won in two games, but they were closer games than the score may have indicated,” Stevens explained.  “When we played them in our place, they were missing some players and we handled them pretty well.”

The Buccaneers come into play on Thursday with a 14-9 overall record and beat Wayne Hills 2-1 in the first-round on Tuesday at Belleville High School to advance.

“I feel like the fact that they are a league rival and we see them twice a year will motivate our boys to go out and do their best because we don’t want to lose at home, especially to a league rival,” Stevens added.

Should the Bengals win, they would advance in the NJSIAA Tournament next Wednesday, May 29, 4:30 pm at Bloomfield High School.