The two squads tested each other in the opening minutes of the first game. Verona, which is the #6 seed in this year’s playoffs, was facing #22 seed Hasbrouck Heights after it scored an upset over #11 Dayton in its opening round. While the Aviators stayed on Verona’s heels in the first game, the Lady Hillbillies fired up the jets in game two, pushing their lead at one point to 12-2.
Verona has been readjusting its strategy at the net since freshman Patricia Rakova went down with an injury in the Essex County Tournament game against Livingston last month. Ashley Duhaney and Megan Meehan were highly effective on blocking yesterday, teaming with setter Kelly Waterman to blunt one point attempt after another by Hasbrouck Heights. Sinclaire Infusino, a junior, kept Verona on pace with consistent serving skills.
Now it’s on to the sectional semi-finals. Verona will travel to #3 Wood-Ridge High School on Saturday for a noon start. The winner of that game will face the winner of #2 Kinnelon against #10 New Providence after the Pioneers ousted #7 Secaucus from the bracket on Thursday.