VOORHEES – The Eastern Regional High School boys’ volleyball team gave itself a nice confidence boost on Saturday.
Both the Vikings and Old Bridge were undefeated heading into the championship game of the 19th annual Eastern Invitational Volleyball Tournament, but Eastern used a couple of nice runs midway through the match to turn what figured to be a tight contest into a comfortable victory.
The Vikings defeated Old Bridge, 25-15, to capture their own tournament for the third time. They had also won in 2005 and 2012.
After the game, Eastern Coach Tom Armour and several of his players talked about how the win would help the team moving forward.
“This will really help their confidence,” Armour said. “The competition was stiff but they did really well. They played well together and they were excited when they were playing.
“Against Pennsauken they played methodical. At practice it’s like it’s a joy for them to be here. Then against Cherry Hill East I told them they have to play with ambience. They need to be shouting and cheering when they do things well. Today they did that.”
Wade Comer, who had three kills, one block and two assists in the title game, echoed his coach’s assessment.
“I think this was really good for our confidence because we are going to see a lot of these teams during the regular season,” Comer said. “We played with a little extra determination today.”
Both Eastern and Old Bridge won all eight of their games during pool play. The Warriors defeated the Eastern jayvees, 25-12, and Eastern defeated St. John Vianney, 25-19, in the semifinals.
In the championship Eastern took a 4-3 lead early. At 10-7, the Vikings scored four straight points to go up 14-7. Sonni Vaishnani had a kill and Comer a block for a point during the run.
But Old Bridge hung around drawing to within four at one point. At 17-12 Eastern went on another four-point run to take a commanding 21-12 lead. Comer had a kill and Billy Fisher had two during that run.
“Wade Comer was very solid today,” Armour said. “Billy Fisher is very demonstrative the way he kills and blocks. It’s downright scary sometimes. And Joe Kerr keeps everybody in the match. His sets are unbelievably good.”
Fisher finished with five kills and Kerr had eight assists. Vaishnani contributed one kill, one block and one assist. Ari Golvovski had three assists and one ace, Johnny Shamir had a block and a kill and Tyler Cavorocchi had a kill for the balanced Vikings who played very unselfishly.
“I thought we played amazing today," said Kerr. “We didn’t make too many silly mistakes which was good.”
Comer got the last two points for the Vikings, who are 2-0 in the regular season, which set off the final celebration of a long day on the court.
“We had a lot of chemistry out there today,” said Fisher. “We were able to shake off any bad plays. We kept our heads up and didn’t worry about the lost point. It was always on to the next one.”
Charlie Sprang is a reporter for South Jersey Sports Digest. For comments or story ideas, reach Charlie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastern High School's boys' volleyball team won the championship of its own tournament, the Eastern Invitational, Saturday.