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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Blue Devils fall in Cape tourney

Dan Russoman/THG. Mia Ranieri returns a volley during Hammonton’s playoff matchup against ACIT last week.

HAMMONTON—Third-seeded Hammonton was ousted from the Cape Atlantic League girls volleyball playoffs on Oct. 17, dropping a well-played match against Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT), 2-1.

“We’re disappointed. Playing at home and wanting to advance, but it was a great match against a really good team and they (ACIT) came out on top,” Hammonton coach Mitch Morrell said.

Hammonton played well to start the match, taking an early lead in the opening game and holding on to win 25-20.

In the second game, ACIT carried some momentum from the end of the first to jump out to an 8-1 lead. Strong serves from Maddie Erman and Violet Speakman helped spark a Blue Devils comeback, and both teams rallied as the match grew closer and was eventually tied, first 22-22 and later, 25-25. ACIT scored the last two points to win 27-25 and force a decisive third game.

In that game, the Red Hawks once again took an early lead before allowing the Blue Devils to fight back and keep it close. In the end a late ace and two side outs helped lift ACIT to a 25-23 win that clinched the match.

“They [ACIT] made some plays when they needed them. I thought we had some chances to take control, but every time we closed the gap, they responded. Give them credit, they played really good volleyball. Sometimes, you do everything you can to win and it just doesn’t go your way,” Morrell said.

Speakman finished the match with a team-high eight service points, adding four kills and two aces. Cara Rivera had 12 kills and seven service points and Erman finished with four kills, 11 digs, six service points and four aces.

Nicole Moyano added five kills, Angelina Virelli had nine kills and seven service points and Yaraliz Flores was busy with 15 digs and 31 assists.

Hammonton bounced back to beat Clearview in a regular season match on Oct. 18, 2-1. After losing the first game 25-19, the Blue Devils rallied to win the second 25-16 and the third 25-18. Erman had 13 digs and five service points in the win. Speakman added nine aces and 14 service points, finishing with four kills. Virelli had 13 service points and eight kills, Yeime Hernandez-Aguilar added eight service points and Flores had 13 assists.


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