The Wait is Finally Over, Mendham Volleyball Is Back and Better than Ever


Emma Stark, Co-Editor for Sports

With pre-season ending just last week, Mendham Volleyball is ready to tear up the courts once again. Just last season, the team went all the way to the Tournament of Champions. Led by coach Eric Heditsch, the girls finished with a 28-6 record. Though there won’t be a group championship or Tournament of Champions this season, Mendham’s varsity team has a stacked lineup worth watching. Players like Gettysburg Commit Cat Holtz (outside hitter), sophomore setter Chloe Czop, and senior libero Michele Kifyak will make all the difference, especially under the new leadership of former Junior Varsity (JV) head coach Greg Racz. 

Of the five divisions in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC), Mendham is usually part of the American Division Conference, yet, this year, the team moved into the National Division Conference. The team’s season will consist of 13 games beginning March 16 and ending on approximately April 15. Spectators are allowed to watch the games in person, although the state is requiring the attendance to be limited to two parents per player with no siblings or grandparents. Despite this restriction, Mendham is streaming each game on NFHS Network where any student or family member can view the games with a monthly subscription. 

This week, the reigning state champions faced Sparta on Tuesday, Pope John on Thursday, and West Morris Central on Friday. In their home-opener against Sparta, Mendham played a tough game, losing in two sets, 18-25 and 22-25. The girls then traveled to Pope John and defeated the team in both sets 25-20 and 25-23, redeeming themselves from their loss against Sparta. Holtz finished the game with seven kills and nine digs. Junior setter Katie Webber contributed three digs and nine assists to the game, while Kifyak added eight digs to the day’s total, with Czop chipping in five assists. 

The following day’s matchup between Mendham and Central easily lit a spark within both varsity teams. Despite their home-court advantage, Central was unable to top Mendham. The girls won both sets, 25-19 and 25-22. 

Next week the Varsity team will play face Mount Olive (home) on Monday and Roxbury (away) on Wednesday. Although this year’s season looks different for coaches, players, and fans, Mendham girls volleyball is ready to continue their season and endure the many challenges that the Coronavirus throws their way.