BLOOMFIELD, NJ – After a successful first set and losing second, the Bloomfield Bengals girls volleyball team came back in the final set in their Tuesday night home opener to overpower the West Essex Knights and achieve their first victory of the season.
Following a 2-1 loss to West Orange on opening night last week, the Bengals won the first and third sets by the scores of 25-20 and 25-13 respectively, with a 25-16 losing set in between.
“When we have a lead, we have a tendency to relax and get a little nonchalant and what ends up happening is we get a little sloppy,” Bengals Head Coach Louis Stevens said in a post-game interview. “Obviously I was happy with how we started and finished, but I wasn’t happy with the second set.”
Melissa Marte was one of the strongest players on the court, accumulating 11 kills, seven digs, three blocks and one ace, along with Aicha Naouai, who recorded seven aces, six digs and two kills.
In addition, Kourtni Carty contributed 11 assists, one kill and one dig.
“Overall, I think we had a pretty good match,” Stevens told TAPinto Bloomfield. “I’ve seen it better, but I’ve also seen it worse, so we’ll take it for now.”
The coach explained that his team still needs to improve on their defense and that their strong offensive skills are on and off.
“Defensively we’re still a little bit slow reacting,” he said. “We don’t read the ball very well. Our offense is predicated on how well we pass the ball, so when we don’t pass the ball well, our offense becomes predictable.”
He added that the girls need to start working on being more versatile on the court, something he believes is necessary in volleyball.
“That’s the beauty of volleyball -- you have to be able play both offense and defense, both front row and back row,” Stevens said. “We have few players right now who can do all those things consistently.”
The Bengals will host the (2-2) Montclair Mounties for a rivalry match on Thursday, September 14. The girls will meet at Bloomfield High School at 4:00 PM.