WEST ORANGE, NJ — For the first time in school history, the West Orange High School girls volleyball team defeated Livingston, 2-1, on Sept. 13 and is now 3-1.
"The day before we had an upsetting loss against Bloomfield," said head coach Jackie Cruz. "The girls did a great job coming back from a 21-13 deficit to tie it 23-23. Unfortunately, we couldn't finish. I mentioned to the girls that we must control what we can control and do our very best at it.”
Although Cruz said that the victory was a team effort, she noted that Saniyiah Richardson (Libero/co-captain) led the Mountaineers in digs with 17.
“Saniyiah has been doing a great job sweeping everything,” said Cruz. She has improved so much. I remember bringing her up to varsity her freshman year as the starting libero; she was quiet and timid and was just learning the game. She was a fast learner. Through her commitment and hard work, she's looking to be one of the top contenders in Essex County.”
She also said that three hitters were “explosive at the net,” including Indigo Jackson with 11 kills and one block, Ogechi Nwobu with 10 kills and 10 blocks and Racheal Ezomo nine kills and five digs.
"We are struggling with being consistent right now, but I believe as the season continues, we will improve on our momentum,” said Cruz. “We have young players filling in the pieces from last year. I believe through reps and more gameplay, they will have a better understanding of how to get the job done.”
Nikita Shaji led Livingston with seven digs, followed by Ada Ojukwu with five kills and Danielle Liu with four digs and four kills.
Livingston has yet to win one yet this season, but hopes to come back with a home match against Cedar Grove on Monday. West Orange will take on Montclair in a home match beginning at 4 p.m. on Monday.