ROXBURY, N.J. – Boosted by a career high of 19 kills by Reghan Palanchi, the Roxbury High School volleyball team beat Montville 2-1 yesterday for its second win of the season.
The Gaels took the first match 25-18, but things got dicey after that. Montville’s Mustangs came back to outdistance Roxbury in the second contest, winning 25-21. However, the Gaels recovered their poise in the deciding contest and left the home court winners with a 25-18 score.
“We played very efficient volleyball today,” said coach Anthony McMichael. “On offense, junior setter Jenna Shirkey was able to run our playbook because our serve-receive passing was consistently in-system. Junior outside hitters Sydney Dunsmore, Kendall Torpin, as well as senior libero Kassandra Matiz fueled our offense with consistent passing.”
McMichael also praised senior middle blockers Haley Cook and Palanchi, saying they “dominated play at the net” and combined for 28 kills. “Defensively, Cook and Palanchi established an intimidating blocking presence, and our backcourt defenders made consistent digs to Shirkey, which allowed our defensive transition game to flow smoothly.”
The coach credited senior defensive specialist Aniela Martinez with leading the Gaels’ service attack with 12 service points.
“The girls have been working tirelessly at getting better each day on the court, both as volleyball players and as teammates,” McMichael said. “They are discovering what their best is, both individually and collectively. I’m always extremely proud of their on-court and off-court achievements, as well as how they represent Roxbury.
The team, now 2-1, next plays Thursday in an away game against Mendham.