Girls volleyball team loses in semis

SPARTA. The top-seeded high school team was defeated by fourth-seeded River Dell in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament.

Sparta /
| 05 Nov 2023 | 08:55

The top-seeded and top-ranked Sparta High School girls volleyball team’s highly successful season came to an abrupt end in a three-set loss to fourth-seeded River Dell on Friday afternoon, Nov. 3 at home.

That was the semifinal round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament.

River Dell (17-4) prevailed, 25-22, 15-25, 25-21, to advance to the sectional final for the second straight season.

Last year, Sparta defeated River Dell in three sets to claim its second sectional championship in three seasons. The Spartans won their first overall Group 2 state title a year ago, finishing 25-1.

Sparta had advanced to the semifinal round with a 25-12, 25-6 win over eighth-seeded Westwood in a sectional quarterfinal Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Leading the way were Giselle Faria (eight assists, five service points, one ace), Aralyn Saulys (11 assists, 19 service points, five aces, three digs, two kills), Payton Simpson (nine kills, three service points), Lea Tsamadias (seven kills, three digs, two service points, one ace), Sylvia Przydzial (seven service points, two aces), Haley Maher (five digs), Tara Keller (two kills) and Emma Kristiansen (one block).

Sparta, with head coach Caitlin Jozefczyk at the helm, won its first Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament this fall and finished the year with a 22-2 mark.

Here’s how other Sparta sports teams fared last week:

Girls soccer

The fifth-seeded Spartans battled fourth-seeded Randolph into two overtimes before surrendering a goal in the second extra session and dropping a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 tournament there Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Senior Juliana Dolinski and junior Abigail Connors made second-half goals for Sparta, ranked No. 7 in the state, and sophomore goalie Riley Molbury made 12 saves.

Randolph (18-3-2), ranked No. 6 in the state, lost, 1-0, in the sectional semifinal round to top-seeded and No. 9 ranked Northern Highlands on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The Spartans, who won their first Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament championship this season, finished the 2023 campaign with a 14-3 record under head coach Daniel Trappe.

The squad was paced offensively by Juliana Dolinski (25 goals, 13 assists), Connors (nine goals, 14 assists), Uma Kowalski (five goals, six assists), Abigail Pierson (11 goals, six assists), Adriana Dolinski (five goals, two assists), Gina Stankiewicz (three goals, four assists), Ingrid Brevig (two goals, five assists), Bailey Brannigan (one goal, four assists), Abigail Rodek (two goals, one assist), Kayla Barreau (two goals) and Katie Sutton (one assist).

Cross country

Ashley Crane finished in 29th place with a time of 20:29 and Ava Barone was 65th in 21:34 to pace the Sparta girls at the NJSIAA Group 3 championships Saturday afternoon, Nov. 4 at Holmdel Park in Holmdel.

On the boys side, Remson Jarrell was the highest finishing Spartan, clocking a time of 17:38 in 53rd place. The other finishers included Tyler Harms (102nd place in 18:22), Jack McGurrin (133rd in 19:23), Nolan Giannantonio (136th in 19:29), Dean Stas (141st in 19:36), Bennett Coleman (143rd in 19:40) and Adrian Applebaum (156th in 21:38).