CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Redemption. That is what Cedar Grove was after in Thursday’s match against Golda Och, after losing to them the day before in the Essex County Tournament. While Cedar Grove may not be Essex County Champions, they still have big plans for their season and got back on track against Golda Och.
The Panthers had a tough 2-1 loss in the county tournament, but came out strong in their regular season match by cleaning up their game and maintaining control. To do these things, they kept focused on what their real goals were for this season.
“It’s unfortunate what happened in counties, but we still have a conference to win,” said Cedar Grove Head Coach Alicia Angione.
Cedar Grove started the first game of the match up 17-12 and nearly blew the lead against Golda Och when they narrowed it down to 18-17. However, the Panthers were able to maintain control of the game and get seven of the last 10 points with a 25-19 first game win.
The second game started off tight with the first 10 points being split, but a couple of kills by Brooke Slattery, who had six kills in the match, would propel them to an easy 25-11 Game Two win to sweep the match against Golda Och.
“We had no service errors and their intensity was solid throughout the whole game. It was consistent,” noted Angione. “The girls really wanted it today.”
This game showed that Cedar Grove has resiliency as a team to recover from a tough loss and go back out the next day and play a better game.
“We have to move forward. They need to be able to come back and take a failure or a loss as an experience,” added Angione.
Emotions can cloud a team’s mindset or distract them from performing their best, but when controlled, players can excel in this circumstance.
“When they play with excessive emotion, that’s when they have the most errors,” said Angione. “If they can just stay intense, motivated, and consistent, they can do a good job and the girls did it all today.”
Going forward, Cedar Grove will try to win their conference, where they are currently tied for first place. That run continues against Bloomfield, who Cedar Grove beat in their last meeting to give Bloomfield their first loss of the season.
The game will be on Monday at Bloomfield starting at 4 p.m.