The Mustangs made history this past Saturday and look to continue into unprecedented territory this weekend.
Last Saturday, Montville’s home volleyball game against last year’s county champs, West Morris Central HS, was set at 3:30 p.m. but one senior got there pretty early.
“I just remember I came in to the gym around 12 and I was just sitting down picturing what it would be like to win,” said Gillian O’Dowd.
And win they did. They defeated West Morris Central in the Morris County Tournament quarter finals last Saturday and set school history.
In the past, Montville has only reached the quarter finals.
“This is the farthest we’ve ever gone,” said O’Dowd.
“We’ve never made it to the semi-finals before,” said Coach Pat Lyons.
The Mustangs have “never beaten” West Morris Central “and we’ve never been seeded before them either,” said the girls, adding that West Morris Central “has never been out of the final round” in the last 13 years.”
West Morris Central has won 11 of the last 13 county titles including the last four consecutive years, said the girls, but this year, they broke that record.
“It was a lot of strategic (plays),” said Senior Bria Corham. “Gill tipped a lot over the … and it worked out really well. It was placement.”
“They weren’t reading my tips. They were leaving me open holes so I just tipped and we got a lot of points off of that,” said O’Dowd. “We got a couple serving runs and established a lead.”
“We just played really smart volleyball,” said Senior Nicole Dvoretsky.
They added that the energy of the crowd helped as well and they had “never seen every seat taken up.”
“The defense was really good too, everyone was great all around. It was very intense,” added O’Dowd, adding that winning feels “amazing and I couldn’t have done it without them. My teammates did so well. It was the best feeling in the world.”
Corham echoed O’Dowd’s sentiments and said, “it was awesome.”
With a history-making win and a record of 13-1, the girls went right back to work to prepare for their upcoming semi finals against Morristown this weekend. Back in September, the girls beat Morristown at home. They head to Roxbury High School to play the Colonials in the County Semifinals at 5 p.m. this Saturday.
“I feel confident about it because we know about the team and we’ve had success against them the first time, so if we’re all on, it should be a good game,” said Dvoretsky.
“This team has done amazing things this year. I’m very proud of them and very confident in their ability,” said Lyons.
“He’s a good coach,” added O’Dowd.
Mendham and Madison will face off in the other semifinals. Got photos from this past game? Send them over to Patch at Kim@patch.com or text them to my Patch iPhone at 845-891-6816. Going to the game this Saturday? Grab a few photos and send those over too.