ROSELLE, NJ -- It's a Raiders Repeat in Roselle!
Scotch Plains-Fanwood won its second consecutive Union County Championship against Union at Roselle Catholic High School on Friday evening. The Raiders took the first set 26-20, and 26-15 in the second set. What makes the victory so incredible is that the program is only in its second year as a varsity sport.
- Senior Colin Donahue had 13 kills.
- Ryan Metzger, had six kills and one block.
- Jimmy Walsh had 26 assists.
Colin Donahue and Ryan Metzger led the way.
"Last year, this was new and I lead this team through the trials of their first year as a varsity program. This year, while this season has had its up and downs, it was directed and driven by the will of the players," varsity coach Brock Hor told TAPintoSPF. "I told them I have taken them as far as I can as a coach. Now it's up to them to take control of the way they want their season to be."
"Donahue got 13 kills and 3 blocks. Metzger recorded 6 kills, 2 blocks, and 10 digs. Many of these digs were on the defensive side, directly leading to Colin completing the point with a kill," Coach Hor said. "They have become a two-headed monster that teams are fighting to contain."
While Colin and Ryan shined, the little things in passing and defense made that possible. Marcello Cappuccio anchored a solid defense with 13 digs. Paul Szanto officially recorded only 2 blocks, but the soft blocks that allowed the defense to get the ball to setter, Jimmy Walsh were immeasurable. Steven Verrastro served the game of his life with 12 service points and 1 ace.
In the second and deciding game, Verrastro put Union in a 8-0 hole from which they never recovered. He also had a spectacular diving dig to keep a rally going early in the run. Peter Sailsman made his presence known with two timely blocks agains one of Union's main attackers, Kyhori Adams, and helped contain their attack. Tony Ngumah also had a timely kill and a timely block. Braedon Cooke was a force with 6 kills, 2 blocks, and 7 digs.
"They responded tonight with a performance I have been waiting for the entire season. During the last two matches -- the semi-finals against Summit and tonight against Union -- this was the team I had envisioned at the beginning of this season," Coach Hor said.
Raider Nation was out in full force, including the JV and Freshman teams, family, friends, alumni and many student fans.
With the big win, the Raiders improved to 20-4 on the season. Next up for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood: the State tournament, in which they will first take on Newark East Side.
Also in County tournament action, the Raiders JV returned to the finals for the second consecutive year, but fell short against Elizabeth. Congratulations to both teams on their excellent seasons.