MBS Volleyball Spikes the Competition

Jeffrey Scott Valentine, Staff Writer

After the success found through their first ten games, the Morristown Beard School’s girls volleyball team opened the second half of their regular season on October 17th against St. Benedict’s Prep, where they looked to continue that success. 

Up until that point, MBS volleyball boasted three wins through ten games, as well as a 3-1 record at home. It marked the Crimson’s best ten-game start to the regular season since 2014. Such wins include a statement victory over conference rival St. Elizabeth; the September 28th game was a rematch of the season opener, where the Panthers had taken the win in consecutive sets. This time however, it was the Crimson who dictated the pace of the game, capturing the first set before overcoming an early 2-8 deficit to secure the straight-set upset win over the Panthers, No. 3 in the NJAC at the time. The 25-19, 27-25 win came in part thanks to a season-high eighteen aces (serves that the opposing team are not able to pass or return) with Ellen Manke ‘24 supplying seven, and Riley Engman ‘24 and Coleen Ewing ‘24 combining for six more to stall the Panthers’ offensive efforts. 

In the days following that thrilling finish, however, the Crimson found themselves in a tough position. First dropping a game in two sets against Villa Walsh, the Crimson then suffered a narrow, 1-2 road loss to Pequannock where each set was decided by three or fewer points. Later still, MBS came up short against Livingston, then ranked No. 11 in the state. The Lancers — who to that point had won fourteen out of their last fifteen games — will almost certainly remain Morristown Beard’s toughest matchup of the season, and as such, it was easy for the team to find positives about the 25-18, 25-12 loss. According to co-captain and middle back Egbefe Omonzane ‘23, “the score wasn’t even reflective of how close the game actually was… we can play on that level if we really put our mind to it. Playing Livingston was an opportunity for us as a team to really look at what it takes to put in good effort to become a team of note.” Unfortunately for the Crimson, the Livingston loss did not quite punctuate their skid. Still to follow would be a 0-2 loss to a strong Mountain Lakes team, and an early exit in the Morris County tournament at the hands of Chatham, ranked No. 10 in tournament play.

Despite recent struggles, the Crimson have nonetheless put together a strong campaign. For libero and co-captain Norah Aycock ‘23, “this year is really about supporting each other… we need to continue working together.” The team currently has a 9-11 record.