WOODBRIDGE It took a combined 60 points to decide the first set when the Woodbridge High School girls volleyball team hosted J.P. Stevens on Wednesday night.
The score was tied 18 times in the opening game before Woodbridge eventually ended it at 31-29 and then won the second set 25-9 to edge GMC rival J.P. Stevens in a straight-sets victory.
“I consider J.P. Stevens to be one of the better teams in the county, and we’re hoping to make a run in the county tournament, so it’s a nice win for us to see where we stack up against one of the really good teams in the county,” Woodbridge head coach Jayson Calhoun said.
From the opening whistle, it looked like a first-set victory could go either way. J.P. Stevens (12-4) started ahead 2-0, but Woodbridge (19-4) immediately came back to tie it. That would be the dynamic the whole way through. Eventually, the Barrons held a 20-16 lead, but the Hawks wouldn’t give up easily. They came back to tie, forcing Woodbridge to take a breather.
“I told them, ‘I think we’re a lot better than we’re playing right now,’ and with where we’re looking to go this year we needed to play better volleyball,” Calhoun said about the timeout.
Woodbridge did just that and took game one. The Barrons stepped out in the second set with momentum on their side. They won the game in a landslide as J.P. Stevens looked unsettled, its play riddled with errors and miscommunication.
“I think we got a little more focused (in the second set),” Calhoun said. “We haven’t had a competitive game in a few days, so I think we came out a little flat, but once we saw the speed of the game, we got going and we were more focused the second set.”
Comfort Akinbo was undoubtedly the player of the game. She had powerful hits turned kills in clutch moments to propel her team to victory. Akinbo led the Barrons in kills with 13 and also had one dig and one block.
Sachi Rajadnya led with 17 assists while producing four digs and a kill. Azra Kukuljac contributed with eight kills, five aces and an assist.
“Throughout the game I was just thinking about playing hard and beating J.P. Stevens because last year we were close when we played them,” Akinbo said.
Staff Writer Alyssa Davis: email@example.com