SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J -- Union Catholic, ranked No. 7 in the state, came up with a huge victory when the Vikings overpowered No. 2 ranked Demarest on Friday afternoon in Scotch Plains.
Demarest's high ranking motivated the Vikings, who responded to the challenge by rolling to a straight sets victory with scores of 25-11 and 25-15..
The Vikings, now 13-2 on the season, dominated in every facet in the first set, but in the second set UC found itself down, 12-10. But the set took a positive turn for the Vikings when Najlaa Williams recorded four straight service points to give the Vikings a 14-12 lead. After Demarest tied the set at 14-14, Katelyn Salvador had seven straight service points for UC to give the Vikings a 21-14 lead. Demarest was only able to scratch out one more point, and Olivia Szyszkiewicz had three straight service points to close out the set for UC.
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Szyszkiewicz knew that a tough mentality was key to the Vikings rallies in the second set.
"We didn't let our mistakes get the best of us," said Szyszkiewicz, a junior. "We knew we had to fight back and take the second set
Alexandra Kwasnik, always a force around the net, had a team high 11 kills. Salvador led the game in service points with 14 and assists with 21. UC was also strong defensively as Charlize Colon had seven digs and Najlaa Williams had a team high 12.
Szyszkiewicz, who had 10 kills and seven service points, knew this was a statement win for the Vikings.
"Winning against the number two team in the state really motivated me and the whole team," said Szyszkiewicz. "It proved to us that we are a force to be reckoned with."
Union Catholic plays at Oak Knoll on Tuesday, hosts Union on Thursday, and plays at Westfield on Saturday