LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Lancers, fresh off their Essex County Title last week, continued their winning ways by edging a tough Summit team in three hard-fought games. Livingston had tangled with Summit earlier in the season, and knew that it would not be easy. The 18th ranked Lancers raised their record to 21-4 and are looking forward to the upcoming state tournament. The Hilltoppers have also qualified for the state tournament and the teams could cross paths again at some point.
In the last regular season home game for the Lancer seniors, Livingston got off to a strong start. The team was in control from the early moments and took the first game handily, 25-17. Senior setter David Shulman took turns feeding his front line hitters and keeping the Summit defense off balance, while compiling 37 assists on the day. Shulman has been consistent all year and has done a great job in his first full season as a varsity starter.
However, Summit would not go quietly. The Hilltoppers built a sizeable lead early and kept the lead most of the game. With a 24-17 lead, the Lancers kept chipping away, only to fall short—losing a close 25-23 decision.
A third and deciding game was next, and Livingston was up to the task. A strong service game and some consistent hitting helped the Lancers to a 25-17 victory in the rubber game.
When asked how he felt about playing his last regular season home game, senior middle hitter Tom Montesion stated, “It is sad that my career is almost finished because I love playing volleyball and will miss the guys on the team.” He also noted that, “Today was a tough win in three games and our serving was key in the third game.”
Montesion and senior outside hitter Mike Cheng each piled up 14 kills on the day, for their highest outputs of the season. Senior opposite hitter, Jay Schaefer, had seven kills and a block to bolster the attack. Schaefer has really come on as of late, having to learn a new position this year.
Junior outside hitter Jason Levine continued his fine season with six kills. Mikey Thompson was his usual self in the middle, adding three kills.
Livingston served very well in game three, with several aces in key spots. Junior Matt Brown had four aces on the day. Schaefer tallied three aces and sophomore Jack Rulka added two.
Defensively, Rulka added 11 digs. Schaefer and lunior libero, Kevin Cheng dug out 10 balls each.
There were many times that Summit thought they had a kill, only to see Livingston keep the point alive with some great saves.
The Lancers complete their regular season today, at East Orange. The state tournament seedings also come out today, and Livingston is looking for one of top seeds in the district.
The Lancers will try to defend their North II title from last year, when they advanced to the state Tournament of Champions for the first time in school history. This year’s state tournament gets underway next Tuesday, May 20.