Old Bridge girls team certainly a contender


Staff Writer

The Old Bridge High School girls volleyball team completed its regular season with a 16-4 mark, earning the third seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament as well as a berth in the state tournament.

The Lady Knights were scheduled to meet Mother Seton yesterday in the GMC tourney, a team Old Bridge defeated twice during the campaign. Coach Carol Silverberg’s team is coming off a strong finish that saw them defeat J.P. Stevens, Mother Seton, South Brunswick and Bishop Ahr.

Old Bridge’s victories against Stevens and South Brunswick avenged previous defeats. The Lady Knights’ other losses came against East Brunswick.

“We got off to a slow start, but the girls got it together and began to jell as a team,” the coach said.

“I’m very proud of what they have done. Our only disappointment was not being able to finish the job against East Brunswick. In fairness, East Brunswick is a very strong team and they’re hard to beat.”

Silverberg has employed the same starting lineup throughout the season. Junior Michele Ross, who plays outside hitter, leads the team in kills. Lindsey Figliolino, a 5-10 junior, gives the Lady Knights a force in the middle. Amy Li is the setter, and junior Jennifer Harris is the other outside hitter. Jennifer Vitrano and Theresa Lewis are on the back line.

Solid depth has also played an important role in Old Bridge’s success. Samantha Imparato has provided consistent defense, while juniors Nicole Tonnisen and Jackie Baldino give Silverberg options on the outside.

Versatile junior Amanda Resnick spells Li as the setter, and 5-11 sophomore Maureen O’Kane is solid in the middle.

In addition to her team’s depth, poise and experience have played a role for a team that went 11-8 a year ago.

“The girls are more focused this year and they’re able to recover when the other team gets ahead,” she said. “That wasn’t always the case last year. Now they just focus on one point at a time. That’s made a big difference.”

If Old Bridge proceeds through the GMC, a third match with East Brunswick is a very real possibility.

“We’d love to play them again,” the coach said. “They’re the team we haven’t been able to beat and we’d like another shot. Our girls are also playing very well right now. They really jelled as a team over the last few weeks. They’re communicating on the court and supporting each other. I like what I’m seeing.”

Following the GMC, it will be on to the state tourney.

A year ago Old Bridge was eliminated in the opening round by Washington Township.