A "Special Group" of Athletes, Roxbury Volleyball Slips from State Championship Race with Loss to Old Tappan

Credits: Anthony McMichael
Credits: Anthony McMichael

OLD TAPPAN, NJ – A great season came to a disappointing end Thursday for the Roxbury High School Girls Volleyball team as the Gaels were defeated by Old Tappan 2-0, dashing Roxbury’s hopes for a state championship.

The NJSIAA Tournament Semifinal match pitted the 4th-seeded Gaels against the No. 1 seeded and undefeated Golden Knights. Roxbury finished the season with a 22-6 record.

“To me it was an outstanding season,” said coach Elizabeth Grasso. “The girls really came together and became a family along the way. They set some really high goals for our team and they worked really hard to accomplish those goals ... As a coach, I’m just extremely proud and honored to coach these girls. They’re a special group.”

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“Amazing season ladies! Roxbury is very proud of you …” said a tweet after the game from assistant coach Anthony McMichael. The team won the Morris County Tournament on Oct. 31, a first for the Gaels, in a 2-0 shutout over West Morris.

The Gaels came close in the first game of Thursday’s match, losing 18-25. Old Tappan turned up the heat in the second contest and outdistanced Roxbury 25-13. Lauren Kornmann had seven kills and made 10 digs while Kate Shirkey chalked up 16 assists.

Grasso said she thought the Gaels “played really hard” in the battle against Old Tappan. She said their rivals are “a really strong, solid team” that has five players who have been on varsity since they were freshman.

“I think we are both strong programs,” said Grasso. “I think our girls left it out on the court today, which is really all a coach can ask for.”

Old Tappan will go on to play Paramus on Saturday for the Group 3 championship. The match will be at William Paterson University at 10:30 a.m.

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