Coming off a season in which the Morristown girls volleyball team finished with a record of 13-8 and a loss to Livingston in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 quarterfinals, the Colonials became even hungrier than ever before to make sure their season did not end as early as the last.
Morristown had completely rewritten history this season, having won their first ever Morris County Tournament and NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 championships.
Fresh off a beatdown at the hands of the Westfield Blue Devils in the Group 4 semifinals, the Morristown Colonials became the No. 4 team in New Jersey and were set to face No. 3 Southern in the Group 4 finals.
Southern was off and running from the get-go, and an 8-0 run gave the Rams a 15-4 lead over the Colonials.
"They [Southern] were scrappy," Morristown head coach Kathy Hormaza said, "Defense definitely was our weak spot today. Southern is such a powerful team and we didn't know where that setter was going sometimes."
Morristown seemed to be struggling to get their offense running, when Gwen and Hailey Atkins tallied two consecutive points to cut the deficit for the Colonials to 10 points.
The Rams followed that up by breaking off a 6-0 run en route to taking the first set of the championship match.
With the Colonials now warmed up, Morristown looked to start the second set strong and they did.
Morristown led 4-1 early on, thanks in part to kills from Gwen Atkins and Maya Summerville.
There was no way that Southern was going to go down quietly, as the Rams promptly broke off a 6-2 jolt and led the second set 7-5.
Gwen Atkins tied the set with a big kill, followed by an ace of her own.
It was at that point that Morristown and Southern seemed to trade points for a decent stretch. Southern led 13-11 and finished the game on a 13-1 run.
Southern took the game 2-0 (25-11, 25-12) and won in large part because of their ability to side-out quickly and get crisp first passes.
When asked about how this type of game helps prepare the girls for a situation like this next season, Hormaza said "That is one if the biggest positives to take out of this. Now we are here, we've been here and we can say that we know we can get here. We have to just turn it up a little more in practice."
This game was by far the biggest test for Morristown all season long and ended the Colonials' undefeated run. Morristown finished 23-1 and rewrote history this season -- something that head coach Kathy Hormaza is so proud of.
"This season has been absolutely incredible," coach Kathy Hormaza added, "We could not have even dreamt this up. My mission as a coach is to remind these girls that what they have accomplished this year was absolutely incredible. I get that this moment stinks and we did not want it to end this way, but I can't let that cloud the whole season."
Think of what Morristown girls volleyball has done this season.
Coach Hormaza also said, "They [Morristown] have done historic things for this school and they will always be remembered for that. It is my duty to make sure that the team does not forget that."
With that, more stats to come as we look forward to honors and awards that this team will earn.
On to next season!