This afternoon, the girls volleyball team will embark on yet another state tournament quest. Fresh off their unprecedented fifth straight county championship, the team has its eyes squarely on the big prize: A state title. The Hawks previously won the state sectional title in 2016 and 2017. Last year they dropped a hard-fought decision to rival Union Catholic in the finals, a loss no one has forgotten.
“We’ve been looking forward to this game all year,” says senior captain Lauren Hansford. “We know we have to handle business. As seniors, we want to leave a legacy. We didn’t finish the job last year.”
To get to the rematch, the girls will first have to win Monday and then advance through two more rounds. Currently ranked #14 by Nj.com, the Hawks have been in the top 20 all season and as high as #9 in the state. After losing the first two matches of the season (both against ranked opponents) the Hawks ran off another 20 wins in a row before their next loss. On the season, they have lost only three matches in NJ. The team travelled to two national tournaments, in Rhode Island and Arizona to hone their skills.
“Travelling to Arizona and Rhode Island have been amazing experiences,” sophomore Rachel Hennessey says. “I’ve never really travelled for sports or anything. And we won, so that was fun.” The team competed in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona, and the Rhode Island Invitational, where Hansford was named MVP and co-captain Makila Billingsly and junior Cristal Rubel were named to the All-Tournament First Team.
Back in New Jersey, the girls have remained in the gym, working hard to get ready for what they hope is another two weeks of volleyball.
“We’ve worked hard, a lot of long nights in the gym to get to this point. It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t come out on top,” adds Hansford.
Don’t forget to come to Hudson Catholic to watch the Hawks take on Trinity Hall today and follow their road to another state title!