IRVINGTON, – The Irvington High School varsity girls’ volleyball team enjoyed a stellar season.
The Lady Blue Knights, under third-year head coach Paul Tortorella, won the Super Essex Conference-Freedom Division championship with an undefeated 18-0 division record.
They lost in the first round of both the Essex County Tournament to West Caldwell Tech and the NJSIAA Group 3 state tournament to Montville.
Irvington finished with an 18-3 overall record. The other loss wa to Bayonne in a non-division match.
The team was able to achieve their goals of winning the SEC-Freedom Division title, enter the county tournament and qualify for the state tournament.
The starters on the team were senior captain Cassandra Cherido; seniors Liz Acosta, Naomi Guinyard, and Sasha Rivera; junior captain Rayna Smith; and sophomore Sol Berrios.
The key bench players were senior Amrita Singh and sophomore Taylor Phillips.
The team leaders were:
- Serving: Berrios, Cheridor, and Guinyard.
- Setting: Cheridor and Acosta.
- Kills (spikes): Smith and Berrios.
The match of the year for Irvington came in the win over Newark Collegiate on Sept. 27. Newark Collegiate entered the match in second place in the division. After losing the first set, 25-17, Irvington won the second set, 25-17, to force the decisive third set. After trailing 19-11, Irvington rallied to win the third set, 25-23, to earn the thrilling victory.
Indeed, Tortorella was ecstatic for his team’s play this season.
“I am extremely happy with our team’s success this year,” he said. “Winning the league is never easy and going undefeated in the league is a real feat. It’s a real credit to the girls’ hard work and dedication.”
The assistant coach is Ryan Carroll, who also completed his third year with the program.