LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Bayonne Bees came into the Livingston High School (LHS) Fitness and Wellness Center looking to advance in the NJSIAA State Volleyball Tournament—and they left Livingston with their season over. The Lancers flexed their muscle and played one of their finest matches of the year defeating Bayonne, 25-14 in both games. The Lancers advanced to the sectional semifinal.
Livingston had beaten Bayonne in three hard-fought games earlier this season, but the result was much more lopsided this time around. Jay Schaefer continued his excellent play by leading the Lancers with eight kills, giving setter David Shulman three solid options when deciding where to set the ball. Tom Montesion was his usual self, while controlling the middle, compiling six kills in the process. Outside hitter Mike Cheng added five kills and made some great passes to the setter.
Shulman stated, “Mike was passing dimes, so I had every position open for me (to pass to).”
Shulman ended the day with 23 assists, along with a block and a kill. Juniors Jason Levine and Mikey Thompson chipped in with three kills each respectively to round out the scoring.
Thompson added, “It was definitely a hard-fought battle, but we put in the effort, and it paid off.”
According to Montesion, the other keys to victory were defense and strategy. Tome said, “We picked on two of their weaker passers in our service game and we played well all around defensively.”
Kevin Cheng led the defense with six digs and contributed two aces in the service game. Matt Brown had five digs and also chipped in with a service ace. Jack Rulka, along with the rest of the team was solid in playing the back row, refusing to let the ball hit the ground.
The Lancers have advanced to the sectional semifinal. The next opponent will be Ridge, and they will battle on Wednesday, May 28 at Livingston. The winner will advance to the final, to be held on Friday, May 30. The opponent will be the winner of Kearny and #3 ranked St. Peters. If St. Peters wins, they will host the final. If Kearny wins, along with Livingston, then Livingston will host the final.