The Southern Regional High School boys volleyball team returns to the Tournament of Champions final for the fifth straight season 5 p.m. today at South Brunswick High School to face Central Jersey sectional champions St. Joseph-Metuchen (41-4).
Both teams moved into the final by 2-0 scores. However, the Rams (35-4) knocked off two-time defending champions and nemesis Fair Lawn to make for an even sweeter run. The Rams, which won the state title in 2009 and 2010, were defeated the past two seasons by the Cutters.
In the TOC semifinal win, junior middle hitter Mike Gesicki earned a match-high 11 kills and three blocks as the Rams won 25-22 and 25-14. Senior setter Luke King added 24 assists and six digs, while Brandon Lee added eight kills and Kyle Ficken had seven. Jake Necamp led the defense with 11 digs.
Southern is the four-time South Jersey sectional champions. The Rams are the only team to win the S.J. title since groups were established in 2010.
Southern and St. Joseph-Metuchen split its matches in the regular season. Each team's win was 2-1. The Rams lost on April 24th by game scores 21-25, 29-27 and 20-25, but came back to win on May 11th 25-21, 23-25 and 25-15. Sean Finan led the Falcons in the first meeting with 19 kills and Thomas Burrell contributed eight kills and eight blocks. Sean Dacey served up 42 assists. But in the rematch, Southern held Finan to eight kills and Burrell four blocks, while Dacey only posted 32 assists.
St. Joseph won the state title in 2002, 2006 and most recently in 2008.
How they got there...
South Jersey first round:Earned top seed and first round bye
South Jersey quarterfinals: 2-0 win over No. 8 Kingsway
South Jersey semifinals: 2-0 win over No. 4 Cherry Hill East
South jersey finals: 2-0 win over No. 3 Williamstown
Tournament of champions semifinals: 2-0 win over Fair Lawn, the North 1 champions and two-time defending state champions
If you go...
What: State boys volleyball final
Who: Southern Regional (35-4) vs. St. Joseph-Metuchen (41-4)
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: South Brunswick High School