BLOOMFIELD, NJ – The Bloomfield High School boys volleyball team reigns supreme in Essex County.
The top-seeded Bengals defeated second-seeded and nemesis Livingston, 25-21, 25-15, to capture the Essex County Tournament championship May 18 at BHS.
For the Bengals, it was sweet redemption after they lost to Livingston in each of the past two ECT finals. It marked the fourth straight year that the Bengals and Livingston met in the ECT final, with Bloomfield winning it in 2016.
BHS notable stats: Christian Voicu: 9 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs. James Bonilla: 6 kills, 4 digs, 2 aces. Jayson Lopez: 20 assists, 5 blocks, 4 digs. Matthew Fong: 8 digs, 2 assists. Nikkoli Samonte: 3 kills, 1 ace, 1 dig. Dylan Coury: 2 digs. 1 kill, 1 block. Chinonso Anyanwu: 1 kill.
The Bengals improved to 19-5 on the season. Livingston fell to 13-10. The Bengals have won all three meetings with Livingston this season. The other two meetings came in the Super Essex Conference-American Division. BHS won the SEC-American Division regular-season title for the fourth straight season.
BHS longtime head coach Louis Stevens also won his sixth ECT title for the Bengals. It’s the most ECT titles for any BHS coach, surpassing legendary Bengals coaches George Cella (boys basketball) and Jim White (girls basketball, boys soccer).
The Bengals will now gear up for the state tournament. BHS, seeded No. 2 seed, will host No. 15 seed Hackensack in the first round of the North Jersey Section 1 state tournament May 21.The top seed is Fair Lawn.
Photos by Jerry Simon
Bloomfield vs Livingston, ECT final, May 18