The Southern Regional High School boys volleyball team dominated both games of its South Jersey championship match with visiting Williamstown on Friday in Stafford Township. The game scores were 25-11 and 25-10 as Southern won its fourth straight South Jersey title.
The Rams (34-4) advanced to the state semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against two-time defending state champion Fair Lawn at South Brunswick High School. If Southern wins, the Rams would play a state championship match at 5 p.m. Thursday at South Brunswick.
"We came out and played well early, which was our goal, and maintained throughout the entire match," Southern coach Eric Maxwell said. "I was worried about a letdown because we won Game 1 so easily, but then we got off to a quick start in Game 2 (5-0). The guys responded real well."
Southern has won all four South Jersey championships since they began in 2010.
Southern's Brandon Lee had 10 kills, while teammate Kyle Ficken added eight kills, and Mike Gesicki had three kills and six blocks. Also for the Rams, Luke King contributed 20 assists and Jake Necamp had 18 service points.
The Rams beat Williamstown 2-0 earlier in the season, but that match was more competitive than Friday's. Southern jumped to a 5-1 lead in the first game, and upped it to 10-4.
"We knew they (Williamstown) were better than that (25-11 in the first game), and coach made sure we didn't let down in the second game," said King, an 18-year-old senior from the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township.
Southern won the state title in 2009 and 2010, and the Rams lost to Fair Lawn the last two years in the championship match.
The two teams have met three times this year, with Fair Lawn winning the first match 2-0, and Southern taking the next two, 2-1 and 2-0. The most recent match was in the Super 6 Showcase at St. Joseph-Metuchen on May 11.
"They (Fair Lawn) have the best player in the state in Chris Nugent, and if we can slow him down, the rest will play itself out," King said.
Maxwell added, "It's a heavyweight match coming up."
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