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Volleyball Advances to NJSIAA State Quarter Finals

Bobbi Moran
The atmosphere was electric in Holmdel on Thursday as the home crowd eagerly anticipated a decisive 2-0 win for their Lancers after KPS fell behind losing set one to the home team. Unfortunately for the hosts, the KPS Dragons did not show up to be defeated.

St John Vianney took the first set from KPS who appeared to still be getting off the bus when the Dragons dropped a 18-25 tilt in favor of St John Vianney. The home crowd filled the rafters with raucous cheers and chants anticipating an easy 2-0 shut out of the visitors. Little did they know, the Dragons and their fans had other intentions.

Kent Place took an early lead in the second set and dominated play. The energy from the visitors put the home team on their heels and KPS won set two 25-16. The win propelled the Dragons into the third set where the visitors established an early lead before the home team battled their way back with steady play and forced errors. KPS steeled themselves and worked one point at a time to re-establish their lead despite the cheers and jeers from the gymnasium attendees. The third set ended when senior Kelsey Burrows delivered the final blow with service to the Lancers who dropped the point, the set, and the game while KPS players and fans erupted onto the court and down from the stands to celebrate the 25-22 win. 

Every player on the KPS team contributed to Thursday's victory. Seniors Kelsey Burrows, Elizabeth Cotter, Maddie Hagar, and Lane Patterson were outstanding role models for their teammates. Their positive attitude and fiery spirit was echoed by juniors Isabella Diaz, Kayla Drum, Rachel Esposito, Elizabeth Michalchuk, Elizabeth Miller, Aya Mtume, and Haley Murray. Sophomore spunk came in droves with teammates Gretchen Cadranell, Iman Handy, Victoria Nouss, Maggie Sher and Sabrina Skyers. Not to be outdone, team manager Sofia Handzy kept the team and the coaching staff in line and up-tempo throughout. Stellar play and teamwork were the hallmarks of the team's victory on Thursday. Burrows, Cotter, Hagar, Patterson, Miller, Mtume, Murray, Handy, and Skyers were all equally impressive. The team as a whole exudes a vibe of fun and fiery competition that appears to bring out the absolute best in every player. 

With Thursday's win, the team advances to the NJSIAA State Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday. (Time and location, TBD).

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.