LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Lancers have started out hot this season, as the 19th ranked team in the state and holding a 2-0 record. Yet, senior Jon Lee doesn't feel the team has reached its potential yet. "As a team, we aren't fully there yet," he said. He believes the continuity developed in the pre-season has not necessarily translated into their young season. Friday's match against an undermanned East Side squad would prove to be a great time to work on bringing the whole package together. As Lee said, "It's great preparation for Saturday's tournament. They [East Side] come out with a lot of tipping and its not a style you normally see. We're just going to have to expect the unexpected." The Lancers trounced East Side 25-13, 25-6.
The first game began with total domination by the Lancers. Starting the game on serve receive, Livingston captured the first seven points. East Side battled back for three points, but the tone was already set. After pushing the lead to 11-5, Coach Partelow took a timeout to calm down his overeager team. Against a squad with just one sub, the Lancers wanted to jump on the Red Raiders early and because of this, came out a bit sloppy. JP Tirone put away five consecutive kills to push the lead to 10 and the Lancers finished the first game with a 25-13 victory. Setter Justin Delman had 10 assists in the first game, setting up outside hitters Billy Williams and Jake Delman for powerful attacks.
With the match in the balance, Coach Partelow went to his second team. They did not disappoint.
Entering the game for the Lancers in the second game were a lineup of new faces. Freshman Kyle Rulka showed a glimpse of the future of Livingston volleyball punishing two Steven Birnbaum sets for his first varsity kills. With a 6-2 lead, East Side took a timeout. Nothing could have held back the Lancer squad, who went on to finish the game on a 7-0 run. The Lancers capped off their third straight victory to open the season by winning the second game 25-6.
The undefeated Lancers venture back to Bloomfield High School for the Bloomfield Invitational tournament Saturday.