Cherry Hill East remained alive in the hunt for a boys' volleyball state championship Wednesday, when the second-seeded Cougars clawed past Eastern, 2-0, in a NJSIAA South Sectional semifinal.
East, which captured the state title in 1998, improved to 23-2 and will face defending champ Southern Regional in the sectional final Friday. Southern, the top seed, advanced with a 2-0 win (25-21, 25-18) over fifth-seeded Clearview.
Junior Eric Zaun and senior Andrew Purcell teamed up to produce 16 kills, five aces, five digs, two blocks and two assists for East. Senior Rishi Sarkar recorded 24 assists and a pair of blocks, as the Cougars opened with a 25-17 win and then finished off Eastern, 25-23.
In closing out the most successful season in program history, Clearview (19-2) was led by Billy Tompkins (13 kills) and Chris Grexa (22 assists).
Lenape rallied for three runs in the sixth inning to defeat host Cherokee, 3-1, and capture the Olympic Conference American Division crown for the second time in three seasons.
Jamie Kunz-Mulholland and Chris Malinowski sandwiched RBI sacrifice flies around Jeff McGarry's run-scoring single in the sixth, making a winner of Jake Grimm (3 scoreless innings in relief).
Tri-County. Brett Solomen knocked in five runs with three hits, and David Young went 3 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs to fuel a 16-hit attack that carried host Clearview past Kingsway, 12-4.
Rachel Rushworth and Gabby Papandrea combined for four hits, four runs and two RBIs in powering host Maple Shade past Westampton Tech, 11-1, in the Burlington County League.
Brittany Granahan struck out 11 in picking up her first win for the first-place Wildcats, who can wrap up the Freedom Division title at home against Riverside on Thursday.
In other Burlington County League action:
Winning pitcher Jackie Korang tied it with a bases-loaded triple and then raced home on Katie Larson's single, capping a wild comeback that lifted host Delran over Bordentown, 5-4.
Victoria Vasapolli (2 for 4) delivered a bases-loaded triple, and Sarah Penna batted 3 for 4 and scored twice in her first varsity start for host Burlington City, which pushed across a dozen runs over the final three innings to pound Palmyra, 12-2.
Tri-County. Kingsway gained a share of the Royal Division title with an 8-3 triumph over visiting Clearview.
Kelsey Dominik and Erica Pyla each had two hits and one RBI for the Dragons, who finished in a first-place tie with Williamstown.
Olympic. Steph Carfagno singed in the tying run with two outs and then scored the game-winner on a double by Ariel Givner, as host Cherry Hill West outlasted Pennsauken, 9-8, in eight innings. West's Lisa Kosteleski drove in two runs with a double and a home run.
Colonial. Sam Riabko slapped a pair of triples, drove in two runs and scored twice to highlight Haddon Township's season-ending 5-4 win over visiting Audubon.
Nicole Brownback's two-run double in the fifth inning put host Haddon Heights ahead to stay in a 3-2 victory over West Deptford. Freshman righthander Shayla Sweeney went the distance for her 12th win of the season.
Junior midfielder Caroline Pease scored all of her four goals in the first half, putting host Haddonfield on track for an 11-3 win over West Deptford in an Olympic Conference match.