SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Union Catholic volleyball team, ranked No. 3 in the state, overcome a strong effort from Pope John to earn a three-set victory in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Non-Public Tournament on Saturday.
The Vikings will play Dwight-Englewood in the semifinal round of the state tournament on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Union Catholic.
After second-seeded UC won the opening set 25-14, Pope John, the No. 10 seed, fought back to even the match by capturing the second set, 27-25.
But with the match on the line in the third set, the Vikings responded to the challenge by closing out the victory with a 25-19 victory.
The triumph over Pope John is the 18th straight victory for Union Catholic, which raised their record to 29-1 on the season. It's only loss came to defending Tournament of Champions winner Immaculate Heart Academy, the No. 1 ranked team in the state. IHA, the No. 1 seed in the Non-Public State Tournament, is playing No. 4 seed Donovan Catholic in the other semifinal matchup.
Several Vikings had great performances vs. Pope John..
Alexandra Kwasnik had 12 kills and 13 service points for the Vikings. Abbey Ortiz had 10 service points, eight digs, and eight assists, and six aces. Olivia Szyszkiewicz recorded 13 digs, 14 service points, and nine kills. Adrienne Caceda came up with 19 assists, Najlaa Williams had 12 digs, and Grace Kane registered seven kills.