RANDOLPH, NJ- On Friday May 17, the Rams played host to the Chatham Cougars in the final match of the inaugural season for the Randolph Boys Volleyball team. With their largest and most raucous crowd yet, Randolph pulled out a thrilling three set win over Chatham, 2-1 (22-25, 25-5, 25-21).
In the first set, the two teams traded points early. Dan O’Sullivan was racking up the blocks in short order for Randolph; however Chatham made a late run in the set — this led to a Randolph timeout. Chatham was able to hang on in the first set, winning it 25-22.
Coach Erik Novack commented, “The team never held their heads, and that even though we lost the first set, we can come back to win the whole thing.”
The second set was a completely different story.
Very rarely does a team get held to single-digits in a volleyball set, but indeed, it happened. Ryan Schachter was serving for nearly the whole set, recording a handful of service aces while running the score from a 5-3 lead up to 22-3 before losing his service. Chatham was having a hard time communicating on serve-receive, and in turn, set up a lot of out-of-system plays.
Randolph was leading 22-3 when a timeout was called by Chatham. The Cougars made one last effort to make it close, but were only able to put up 2 points after the timeout. The Rams evened the match, definitively winning the second set 25-5.
The third set was a thrilling, back and forth battle to the wire as the teams stayed within two to three points of each other most of the way.
Chatham went on an early run in the third set, but Randolph was able to claw their way back into it. An emphatic kill by Kieran Lucas knotted the score at 16 apiece. The score then hit 18-18, at which point the Rams were able to make a mini run, taking the lead 23-19.
After the Rams reached 24 points, the final rally that took place was indicative of the resilience that Randolph possessed. The Rams took set number three 25-21.
Now the Randolph Rams look to next season, where they hope to build the program and look to be playing at a higher level.
“I am hoping that the numbers are going to grow,” said Novack “That way we can get more games for next year.”
The Seniors were called “founding fathers” by Coach Novack, as he addressed the fans in attendance before the game to thank them for their contribution to starting the program.
“Jason Gu is my captain, and he is a Senior, having a high-energy about it,” Novack said, when asked about the Seniors setting the tone for next season.