A tough opening schedule had the makings of disaster for the Ridge High School girls volleyball team.
Of Ridge’s first six games, three opponents were ranked. In spite of the tough schedule, Ridge still forged a 4-2 record, putting itself in ranked lists everywhere.
“They practice hard,” head coach Joanne Milot said, “I always tell them ‘what we do in practice is what we bring to the court’ and we make sure it’s always a high intensity practice.”
Ridge continued their winning ways on Tuesday, beating Bridgewater-Raritan 2-0. Ridge was in control the entire match, and was able to take both sets by a large margin, 25-14 and 25-7.
A 12=0 lead set the tone in the first game.
The second game was tied 4-4, but Ridge took a 10-6 lead and then rattled off 13 straight points.
Senior captain Norma Park was pleased with her team’s performance.
“It’s easy when you’re ahead by a lot to get down or get lazy,” Park said. “…no matter what the score was we always got it up and over and it was a whole team effort.”
Bridgewater-Raritan’s inexperience showed over the course of the match, as self-inflicted errors cost the team many points. Ridge’s more experienced squad was able to easily put away the younger opponent, but Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Corey Romanak knows the road to success won’t be easy.
“I was pretty happy with the way we were controlling our nerves during the game,” said Romanak, “even when the game was slipping away, I was pretty impressed with the way we kept our composure.”
While Romanak was pleased with his team’s efforts against a talented Ridge squad, he knows that the team needs more games under their belts in order to get better.
“It’s tough to rush experience,” Romanak said,” and that’s the thing that we are lacking right now.”
Five seniors from last year’s Ridge squad have graduated, but Milot was lucky enough to bring back five players who all spent time on varsity last season.
Ridge will look to continue their winning ways against a tough opponent in North Hunterdon. While the opponents are tough, Ridge continues to have big goals for this season.
“We want to win counties,” Park said,” and we want to beat Central, who we consider our biggest rivals and we’re really excited for that.”