RAHWAY, NJ -- After a long day of volleyball, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Girls Volleyball team emerged as the champions of the 15th annual “Healing the Children” Charity Tournament held on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Rahway Recreation Center in Rahway, NJ.
“September has been a month of competition and learning to play together as a team,” Coach Adrienne Stack said. “We’ve had successes and heartbreaking losses (and a lot of sickness). Coming together at 'Healing the Children' was a way to support an amazing cause and enjoy a day of volleyball.”
The Raiders were able to cap a perfect day by defeating Arthur L. Johnson High School (Clark, NJ) in the finals. Scotch Plains-Fanwood went undefeated in pool play and earned a bye into the final round. Johnson staged a comeback in the semi-finals round when they defeated Benedictine Academy to set up the finals match.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood started off slow in the final, falling into a 10-3 hole. Having to sit for almost an hour between matches was evident in the miscues and unforced errors. Coach Adrienne Stack quickly called a timeout to refocus the Raiders.
The team responded with sophomore Victoria Cirillo going back to serve, and went on a serving run to help the Raiders tie the score at 12-12. After that, the Raiders never looked back, led by junior Adelina Berisha, the Raiders ended the day with a 25-18.
Every Raider on the team made a significant contribution to the day. Kailie Chung was the anchor of the offense, setting a balanced attack from all angles. Maddie Yessman and Adelina Berisha supplied offensive firepower from the Outside, while Jessica Lancaster and Victoria Solsky solidified the Opposite attack and defense.
Anina Dashiell established herself as the dominant Middle Blocker of the tournament, with Maura Leahy doing Triple Duty as playing Opposite, Middle Blocker and Defensive Specialist all tournament long. Lindsey Bartley was the cornerstone of the defense as the Libero. Victoria Cirillo was crucial as well, playing solid defense and getting the Raiders back on track with a serving run in the finals. Kyra Antonello provided support at Middle Blocker and Abigail Balagot and Haley Warren were solid as Defensive Specialists with key serving runs during the tournament.
“I am proud of how my girls played and how they responded,” Coach Stack added. “It is a privilege to participate in this tournament knowing that so many children receive the care and support they need.“
The 2019 SPF Girls Volleyball team
- Captain Senior Jessica Lancaster
- Captain Junior Kaelie Chung
- Junior Kyra Antonello
- Freshman Abigail Balagot
- Junior Lindsey Bartley
- Junior Adelina Berisha
- Sophomore Victoria Cirillo
- Sophomore Kaelin Cunningham
- Senior Anina Dashiell
- Senior Che Dashiell
- Junior Maura Leahy
- Sophomore Victoria Solsky
- Freshman Haley Warren
- Junior Maddie Yessman
The HTC Charity tournament has have raised over $30,000 over the past 15 years. Using this formula, they have supported approximately 300 surgeries. IMPACT Volleyball and the Director have been working with the great charity ¨Healing The Children" for over 30 years. The group of doctors and nurses travel the world at their own expense to perform life-changing surgeries on children in third world countries. All monies collected go towards surgical supplies, etc. It is estimated that the typical surgery costs only $100.
Every cent goes directly to the charity. The recreation center generously donates the space. IMPACT Club buys the trophies. All the referees volunteer their time to officiate the tournament. A day of commitment, service and volleyball was had by all.
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