RUTHERFORD – Faced with losing, Immaculate Conception keeps finding a way to do just enough to keep winning.
The Wolves raised their record to 18-0 by rallying to defeat Wallington, 29-27, 15-25, 25-22, on Tuesday in NJIC Meadowlands Division girls volleyball at Felician College.
Immaculate Conception (12-0 league) scored the final seven points to secure no worse than a share of the division crown, and a win over Saddle Brook or Becton clinches it outright.
“I think in those tough situations they realize how good they are,” said coach Christine Toskovich, whose Wolves have won twice as many games as last season. “They realize they aren’t playing well and they come together as a team, and I don’t have to point it out to them anymore.”
This three-setter comes three days after Immaculate Conception won its first Bergen County tournament match, a three-set win over another all-girls school, Holy Angels.
While Immaculate Conception was the better team, Wallington‘s Amanda Colombo was the best player. The senior hitter had a career-high 19 kills, including one from the back row to provide the Panthers’ 22-18 lead in the final game. She also had a team-high 13 digs.
“I’m very disappointed,” Wallington coach Bonnie Luberto said. “I thought we played well, but we made a few errors at key moments.”
Sophomore middle Sam Fuehring’s hitting and junior setter Amanda Zielinski’s serving pointed Immaculate Conception toward its victory-clinching 7-0 run.
In a match in which the serving ranged from magnificent to horrifying, Zielinski (19 assists) served the final six points of the run. Two of Zielinski’s serves led to Wallington overpasses and Fuehring was there to turn them into kills to tie the score at 22 and turn the momentum in the Wolves’ favor.
Fuehring, who had team highs of 15 kills and nine digs, provided a 24-22 lead with a kill that landed just inside the back line. Zielinski sealed the win with an ace.