These are the news articles from the Star Ledger for the 2004 season...
The Livingston High School Lady Lancers finished ranked number 255 of the over
15,000 high school volleyball teams in the entire country. Nice job ladies!!!
From the Star Ledger Sat. Dec. 11, 2004
Coaches of the year:
Al Partelow and Bob Cece guided Livingston to a 32-3 finish that included an
Iron Hills Conference championship, a runner-up finish in the Essex County
Tournament, the school's first Group 3 title and a runner-up finish in the
Tournament of Champions.
From the Star Ledger Sat. Dec. 11, 2004
Essex Counmty Player of the year: Ainhoa Barturen
Moments after All-Stater Sammy Rode tore her left ACL in a scrimmage against
Westfield last year, Ainhoa Barturen was hit with the reality that Livingston
had just become her team.
"I was freaking out," Barturen said. "At the time, I had only one year of high
school volleyball experience and never played club. I was completely
unprepared ability-wise and mentally to take control of the team."
As a sophomore Barturen had been a bit player, providing the occasional block
and kill in the middle. Now she was being asked to become the team's primary
passer in all six rotations, a skill that takes some time to develop, on top
of shouldering the majority of the hitting load.
"Because I played softball and didn't do volleyball year round, I wasn't a
great all-around player," Barturen said. "Taking over the passing role was
probably the toughest, but I also went into each match feeling pressured to
make the best out of every set I saw and every swing I took. I felt like I
couldn't have an off day. I put so much weight on my shoulders that I had a
hard time staying calm and in control."
Early in the season, Barturen showed flashes of potential from a playing
standpoint but struggled in her captain's role.
"I was so into wanting to win, and when things went wrong, I became frustrated
and didn't realize I was taking a hurtful approach with my comments toward
teammates," Barturen said. "I wasn't mature enough to exhibit the self control
of a leader. Instead, I blamed others for mistakes when I should have been
encouraging and finding a way to make things better."
The turning point for Barturen came in the team's final game of the season,
when she finished with a career-high 27 kills and a state-record 70 digs in a
five-game loss to Ridgewood in the second round of the Group 4 tournament.
"It was the first time I felt like I had contributed so much to a match,"
Barturen said. "It never even occurred to me that our season was over. All I
thought about was this season. That match pushed me to get better."
After last season, Barturen played club for the first time, something she
credits to further expediting her already rapid development as a player.
"I needed to get better skill-wise and maturity-wise, so there was no way I
wasn't giving up softball and playing club," Barturen said. "I was exposed to
the best of the best. I tried out for the junior national team, which was a
big reality check for me. After seeing those players, I started comparing
myself to them, trying to figure out what I needed to work on to get to their
This season, Barturen emerged as one of the top three players in the state and
transformed an above-average team into a state power.
The Lafayette-bound senior was second in the state in hitting with 352 kills,
upping her career total to a school-record 822, was the premier passer in New
Jersey, registering a 2.63 on the three-point serve-receive rating scale, and
finished with a state-high 390 digs, the third-highest single-season total in
state history. Barturen's 1,024 career digs are the second-most in state history.
That versatility was the driving force behind Livingston's first state
championship season, in Group 3, and school-best 32-3 finish.
"I'm incredibly surprised by how far I've come in a short time," Barturen
said. "There are so many other girls in the state that I strove to play like
and I know how long it took them to get to that level. I never dreamed I could
do it. I guess it shows what you can do when you are driven."
From the Star-Ledger - Monday Nov. 22, 2004
Tears were flowing freely as Livingston gathered following its loss to
Bridgewater-Raritan in yesterday's NJSIAA/PSEG Tournament of Champions
"I can't even speak," said an overwhelmed Ainhoa Barturen, whose team dropped
a 25-22, 26-24 decision to Group 4 champion Bridgewater (33-2), No. 3 in The
Star-Ledger Top 20, at William Paterson University, Wayne.
Satisfaction could be sensed amidst the disappointment, however, as No. 2
Livingston reflected on its unprecedented success this fall.
Livingston earned a place among the state's elite teams just three years ago,
reaching the second round of the Group 4 tournament before it was upset by
Southern Regional. The following season it reached the semifinal round and
made it into the quarterfinal round last season.
This year, the Essex County school captured the Group 3 crown, the first
volleyball state title in school history, and finished with a sparkling 32-3
Barturen, who led the way with a school-record 822 kills in three seasons,
pointed to her team's sense of togetherness.
"I definitely thought our team chemistry was the reason we came so far," said
the senior outside hitter. "We just get along so well. When something goes
wrong, there's always someone there to pick you up."
"We're a family," added senior Lindsey Bronstein, who was joined by senior
Alex Brauner and juniors Lauren Abuouf, Sam Rosenman, Kelley Grobeis and
Kelli Holota in Livingston's rotation.
"Coming in, we knew we had a talented team, but I've never had a team with
chemistry like this before," said Livingston Al Partelow, who has coached 35
years at the high school and collegiate level. "I thought it really took us
to where we are. I've had talented teams before, but when the chemistry's not
right, you can't have success."
From the Star-Ledger Sunday Nov. 21, 2004
When the teams switched sides prior to the start of the third game, it dawned
on Livingston junior Lauren Abuouf that because of poor focus, her team's
best season came down to one game.
"Nobody wants their season to boil down to a last game," Abuouf said. "It hit
me that we could lose this thing. That made me determined to make sure that I
went out and did my job."
Abuouf came up with five of her 10 kills and deflected seven opposing attacks
in the third game, which also saw Ainhoa Barturen put away six of her match-
high 13 kills and Sammy Rosenman added three of her eight kills to rescue
Livingston, No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, in time for a 25-21, 15-25, 25-
15 victory over No. 4 North Arlington in the first round of the NJSIAA/PSEG
Tournament of Champions before 800 yesterday at William Paterson University
Livingston (32-2), the Group 3 champion, will face No. 3 Bridgewater-Raritan
for the T of C title today at 2 p.m. at William Paterson.
North Arlington, the Group 1 champion and a decided underdog, could just as
easily have been the team playing today.
"Nobody gave us a chance, but that was fine. We don't listen to what other
people say about us," senior setter Karolina Kowalski, who finished with 17
assists and five kills, said. "We believed that we could pull it off, and I
think we came out and surprised Livingston with how good we really are."
Barturen, Livingston's captain, admitted as much.
"Caldwell's match was right before ours, and every two minutes we were
running over to see what was going on," Barturen said. "We were too worried
about what was coming next and got ahead of ourselves.
"We almost got caught."
That showed from the start, when North Arlington raced to a 9-1 lead, getting
six service points from Kowalski and two kills by Pamela Campanaro.
Livingston was able to overcome its 10 unforced errors in the game, primarily
because Barturen, Abuouf and Rosenman combined for 12 kills and North
Arlington made 11 errors.
But Livingston's woes got even worse in the second game as continued erratic
passing, service errors and inconsistent setting accounted for 14 of North
Arlington's points. Livingston was also so preoccupied with Kowalski's
penchant for tipping on unsuspecting defenses, it forgot that Campanaro (12
kills) was a quality hitter -- a fact she drove home with a spike that
blasted off the shoulder of Barturen, bowling her over.
North Arlington (23-3) also played spectacular defense in the game and
finished with 51 digs, 15 by Christine Mellillo.
"We were so intent on watching for Karolina's dumps that we stopped blocking
Pam, and she can hit," Barturen said. "I don't think we realized how great of
a defensive team they were. They have some strong diggers."
But the third game saw Livingston, and particularly Abuouf, regain focus.
Abuouf put the ball down with authority and got her hands on enough balls to
keep North Arlington from countering with kills of its own.
"When I got set, I was making sure I hit the ball as hard as I could," Abuouf
said. "It wasn't pretty, but we picked it up when we needed to."
Livingston shored up its game in the third, committing just six errors to
North Arlington's 11, which was ultimately its undoing.
"We made too many errors down the stretch, but we're not upset because we
know we gave it everything we had," Kowalski said. "We still have our state
championship, and nothing can take away from that."
From the Star Ledger Thur. Nov. 18, 2004
DERAILED BY INJURY
Livingston would like to forget how two of its better teams had their
championship aspirations snuffed in the last three years.
In 2001, Livingston prepared for a second-round match against Southern
Regional. At practice the previous day, middle Lorea Barturen went up to
block teammate Emily White, landed on White's foot, rolled her left ankle and
went down in a heap.
"When Lorea was on the ground, crying hysterically, everyone in the gym
froze," Livingston senior Ainhoa Barturen, Lorea's sister and a freshman at
the time, recalled. "It was scary."
The next day, barely able to move due to the high ankle sprain, the elder
Barturen managed just three kills and a block and Southern went on to a three-
Last fall, Sammy Rode, Livingston's All-State outside hitter, tore an ACL in
a scrimmage against Westfield, essentially ending the team's championship
drive before it even started.
But Ainhoa Barturen channeled her frustration, and this season spurred
Livingston (31-2) to its first Group 3 championship.
"When Sammy went down, I had a flashback to Lorea," Barturen said. "This
year, I was motivated to put those injuries in our past."
From the Star Ledger Sunday Nov. 14, 2004
LIVINGSTON WINS THEIR FIRST STATE GROUP 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
Livingston brought neither history nor experience to the NJSIAA/PSEG Group 3
The Essex County school managed to bring plenty of talent, however.
Making its first appearance in a state final, the No. 2 team in The
Star-Ledger Top 20 rolled to a 25-14, 25-15 victory over No. 8 Old Tappan
yesterday before 800 at William Paterson University in Wayne.
Old Tappan (20-3), which has won eight Group 3 titles, made its 13th
appearance in the finals and lost for the third straight year. Livingston went
out in the quarterfinal round last season.
Livingston (31-2) took control midway through the first game and was never
challenged. Senior Ainhoa Barturen (10 kills), junior Lauren Abuouf (eight
kills) and junior Sam Rosenman (six kills, four aces) led the balanced attack.
We knew at the beginning of the season that this was going to be our year,
that anything was possible, Rosenman said. A lot of the girls played club ball
in the off-season and really improved. Its been exciting.
When Livingston pulled away from a 10-10 tie in the first game with a 15-4
burst, the contributions were widespread. Junior Kelley Grobeis served two
straight aces for a 12-10 edge, Barturen notched two consecutive kills for a
16-12 lead, Rosenman added a cross-court kill for a 22-14 edge and Abuouf
(eight kills) closed out the game with a powerful stuff block.
The second game went down in similar fashion. The score was knotted at 9-9
before Livingston ran off 13 of 16 points, with Roseman contributing three
kills, for a 22-12 advantage. Abuouf then closed out the match with two
We saw Old Tappan play the other night and we knew they were a strong team,
Rosenman said. But we had beaten them (in the Northern Valley Invitational)
early in the season, and we felt confident.
Livingston coach Al Partelow agreed.
We scouted them in the semifinal round and we saw some things, Partelow said.
We made a number of changes this week in our attack, trying to vary things.
And the girls were able to pick it up quickly.
It was the first state title for Partelow, whos been coaching in the sport
since 1970, including the past 12 seasons at Livingston. He also was the first
womens volleyball coach at Seton Hall University in the late 1970s. He took
over at Livingston in 1993 for Bob Cece, who became Partelows assistant.
Im so excited for the kids, Partelow said. It was good chemistry this year.
They did a lot of things together, dinners and sleepovers, etc. Theyve also
put in plenty of time with various club teams. Theyve become volleyball
From the Star Ledger Friday Nov. 12, 2004
Livingston def. West Morris, 25-18, 25-20:
No. 2 Livingston (29-2) received 12 kills and two blocks from Ainhoa Barturen
and 18 service points and 12 assists from Kelli Holota in the Group 3
semifinals in Paramus. Livingston earned its first trip to a state final.
From the Star Ledger Sat. Nov. 6, 2004
Livingston def. Roxbury, 25-6, 25-19:
Ainhoa Barturens 15 kills and 17 digs led No. 3 Livingston (26-1) in the
Group 3 tournament in Livingston
From the Star Ledger Friday Nov. 5, 2004
Livingston def. Roxbury, 25-13, 25-19:
Samantha Rosenman served 17 points with four aces and had seven digs, Ainhoa
Barturen and Lauren Abuouf each put down seven kills and Kelli Holota had
nine assists as No. 3 Livingston (25-1) completed an unbeaten season in the
Iron Hills Conference in Succasunna. Roxbury is 16-8.
From the Star Ledger Thur. Nov. 4, 2004
Livingston def. Morris Knolls, 26-24, 12-25, 25-14:
Ainhoa Barturen collected 15 service points, 23 digs and 15 kills, Sam
Rosenman 19 digs, 14 service points and six kills and Kelli Holota 11 service
points and 11 assists for No. 3 Livingston (23-1) in a regular-season match
in Livingston. Megan Horohoe had 12 kills and Yomi Angulo seven kills for
Morris Knolls (21-6).
From the Star Ledger Sunday Oct. 30, 2004
Livingston def. Newark East Side, 25-18, 25-20:
Ainhoa Barturen finished with 10 kills, 11 digs, four blocks and three aces
to help No. 3 Livingston overcome its own nervousness to eliminate last years
champion and earn its fourth trip to the ECT final. It has faced Caldwell
each time in the final and won its lone title in 2001.
We were uptight because East Side won the title last year and they have a
great, young team, Barturen said. We got lucky that some of our mistakes
didn't cost us, and we pulled out random, crazy plays down the stretch.
In the second game, Livingston rallied from a 13-11 deficit to a 17-15 lead
on two kills, a block and an ace by Barturen. From that point, the two teams
engaged in three separate rallies that saw the ball cross the net at pinball
rate. Livingston won all three rallies, one coming on a one-handed set by
Kelli Holota to Sam Rosenman for a kill and 21-18 lead.
Neither team had momentum for long before that, Barturen said. But winning
some of those drawn out rallies helped us feel like we were in control of the
Livingston (23-1) received eight kills and eight digs from Rosenman and nine
assists each from Holota and Lindsey Bronstein. Newark East Side (19-4)
served strong enough to keep Livingston from setting Lauren Abuouf, its 5-11
middle. Uerequenia Pereira spiked 10 kills and served two aces for East Side,
which also received 13 assists from Raisa Zanetti and three kills from Sara
From the Star Ledger - Friday Oct. 29, 2004
Livingston def. Randolph, 25-12, 25-9:
Ainhoa Barturen had 10 kills and eight digs and Samantha Rosenman had 13 digs
for Livingston (22-1), No. 3 team in The Star-Ledger Top 20, in Randolph.
From the Star Ledger - Thursday, October 28, 2004
Samantha Rosenman and Lauren Obuouf had seven kills apiece yesterday to lead
Livingston, No. 3 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a 25-10, 25-12 victory over
Columbia in South Orange. Livingston (22-1) got 14 service points from Kelley
Grobeis and eight digs and five kills from Ainhoa Barturen. Columbia is 4-16.
From the Star Ledger - Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Ainhoa Barturen came through with 10 kills, eight digs and four aces in her
10 service points to lead Livingston, No. 3 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a
25-9, 25-12 victory over Hanover Park yesterday in East Hanover.
Samantha Rosenman contributed six kills and Kelli Holota had 12 service
points with four aces and eight assists for Livingston (21-1). Hanover Park
From the Star Ledger - Sunday, October 24, 2004
Livingston def. West Windsor South, 25-18, 25-9:
Ainhoa Barturen had 10 kills and seven digs and Samantha Rosenman had six
kills and 13 digs as Livingston (19-1) won at a tri-match in Voorhees.
Livingston def. Eastern, 25-17, 25-13:
Ainhoa Barturen (10 kills, 11 digs), Samantha Rosenman (seven kills, seven
digs) and Katie Vorbeck (10 assists, eight digs) sparked Livingston (20-1) in
From the Star Ledger - Saturday Oct. 23, 2004
Livingston def. Montclair, 25-17, 25-18: ECT 1/4 final
Ainhoa Barturen spiked 16 kills with one error in 31 attempts, made eight
digs and had 19 perfect passes in 21 attempts to spark No. 3 Livingston,
seeded first, in the Essex County Tournament quarterfinals in Livingston.
Sam Rosenman had nine digs and seven kills, Lauren Abuouf had six kills,
Kelli Holota 14 assists and nine digs, Lindsey Bronstein and Katie Vorbeck
teamed for 13 assists and Alex Brauner had six digs and four aces for
Livingston (17-1), which will face fourth-seeded and defending champion
Newark East Side in the semifinals. Montclair, the ninth seed, is 11-9.
From the Star Ledger Friday Oct. 22, 2004
Livingston def. East Orange Campus, 25-9, 25-18:
Ainhoa Barturen served seven aces and had six kills, Lauren Abuouf and Sam
Rosenman teamed for six kills and Lindsey Bronstein, Katie Vorbeck and Kelli
Holota each had five assists to fuel Livingston (16-1), No. 3 in The Star-
Ledger Top 20, in Livingston. East Orange is 4-16.
From the Star Ledger Wed. Oct. 20, 2004
Livingston def. Mount Olive, 25-8, 25-19:
Ainhoa Barturen had 11 kills and 23 digs to fuel Livingston (15-1), No. 3 in
The Star-Ledger Top 20, in Livingston.
From the Star Ledger Friday Oct. 16, 2004
Sam Rosenman finished with 14 digs, 13 kills and 10 service points and Kelli
Holota added 14 assists, nine service points and five digs to power
Livingston, No. 3 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a 25-11, 25-15 victory over
No. 11 West Morris yesterday in Long Valley.
Ainhoa Barturen had 10 digs and nine kills, Lauren Abuouf had five kills, and
Lindsey Bronstein added 12 assists and seven digs for Livingston (14-1).
Taylor Steffan had eight blocks for West Morris (12-3).
From the Star Ledger Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Ainhoa Barturen finished with 10 kills and seven digs and Sam Rosenman added
seven kills and four aces to power top-seeded Livingston, No. 3 in The Star-
Ledger Top 20, to a 25-10, 25-12 victory over 17th-seeded Columbia in the
first round of the Essex County Tournament yesterday in Livingston.
Lauren Abuouf spiked nine kills, Katie Vorbeck had nine assists, Kelli Holota
added seven assists and an ace and Lindsey Bronstein had four assists and two
aces for Livingston (13-1), which will face ninth-seeded Montclair in the
quarterfinals. Iman Johnson had three kills for Columbia (4-11).
From the Star Ledger Tues. Oct. 12, 2004
Livingston def. Cranford, 25-12, 25-13:
Ainhoa Barturen had eight kills, Lauren Abuouf served six aces and Sam
Rosenman had five digs for No. 3 Livingston (12-1) in Livingston.
From the Star Ledger Friday Oct. 8, 2004
Livingston def. Roxbury, 25-10, 25-15:
Ainhoa Barturen had 10 kills,10 digs and a block, Sam Rosenman had seven
kills and six digs, Lauren Abuouf had eight kills and two blocks and Lindsey
Bronstein had eight assists to power No. 2 Livingston (10-1) in Livingston.
Roxbury is 7-4.
From the Star Ledger Wed. Oct. 6, 2004
Livingston def. Morris Knolls, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16:
Kelli Holota had 16 service points, 15 assists and 14 digs and Ainhoa
Barturen 16 digs, 13 kills and 14 service points for Livingston (9-1), No. 2
in The Star-Ledger Top 20, in Denville. Yomi Angulo had 13 kills and Megan
Horohoe added nine kills for Morris Knolls (9-2).
From the Star Ledger Saturday Oct. 2, 2004
Livingston def. Randolph, 25-16, 25-15:
Lauren Abuouf had nine kills, Lindsey Bronstein and Kelli Holota combined for
21 assists, Ainhoa Barturen had 16 digs and 14 kills and Katie Vorbeck and
Alex Brauner each served 10 points to lead No. 2 Livingston (8-0) in
Livingston. Randolph is 4-3.
From the Star Ledger Friday Oct. 1, 2004
Livingston def. Hanover Park, 25-8, 25-16:
Kelli Holota had 10 assists and four digs, Kelley Grobeis had 13 digs and
Ainhoa Barturen added 11 digs and eight kills for No. 2 Livingston (7-0) in
From the Star Ledger Wed. Sept. 29, 2004
Livingston def. East Orange Campus, 25-8, 24-26, 25-7:
Kelli Holota, Sam Rosenman, Kelley Grobeis and Alex Bronner served a combined
47 points with 16 aces, Ainhoa Barturen had 10 kills, Lauren Abuouf had five
kills and Lindsay Bronsetin had 12 assists to lead No. 2 Livingston (6-0) in
East Orange. East Orange is 2-6.
From the Star Ledger Friday Sept. 24
Livingston def. Mount Olive, 25-10, 25-20:
Ainhoa Barturen had 13 kills and 10 digs, Sam Rosenman had nine digs and six
kills, Lauren Abuouf had four kills and Lindsay Bronstein, Kelli Holota and
Nicky Mavropoulos teamed for 22 assists to lift Livingston (5-0), No. 2 in
The Star-Ledger Top 20, in Flanders. Ali Ivaniski and Lindsay Stein each had
four kills for Mount Olive (1-3).
From the Star Ledger Sept. 22. 2004
Livingston def. West Morris, 25-20, 25-17:
Ainhoa Barturen had 14 kills and nine digs, Sam Rosenman served 11 points and
had six kills, and Kelli Holota had 11 digs and 10 assists to lead Livingston
(4-0), No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, in Livingston. Jordan Chamberlin had
12 kills and Heather Roth six kills for No. 13 West Morris (3-1).
From the Star Ledger Sept. 21, 2004
Historically, the gym at Hunterdon Central has been one of the toughest
places in New Jersey for a road team to steal a victory. A big part of that
has been the quality of the team that calls it home.
Ainhoa Barturen, whose Livingston team has lost there twice in as many years,
went a bit further.
This gym is like cursed or something, Barturen said. It seems like every time
we step foot in here, were never able to play up to our potential. Anything
unlucky that can happen, usually does.
But last night was one of the rare occasions where there was enough bad luck
for both teams.
Barturen had one of the worst offensive matches of her career and fellow
outside hitter Sam Rosenman tweaked her back at the onset of crunch time.
But Livingston, No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, survived both misfortunes,
getting a clutch seven kills from middle Lauren Abuouf and benefiting from
being on the right side of the court and airflow in the gym to escape with a
13-25, 25-20, 25-20 victory over No. 7 Hunterdon Central in Flemington.
If you told me beforehand that Ainhoa would hit negative and we would win, I
would have said no way, Livingston coach Al Partelow said. But we made up for
it defensively and Lauren stepped up.
Hunterdon Central controlled the early tempo from behind the service line,
hitting spots and scoring five aces. Its defense -- it got a combined 56 digs
from Heather McKnight, Amy Peck, Alex Stragis, Joan Paternoster and Courtney
Kosup -- and passing were so steady that Livingston could not match the
ensuing offensive efficiency. Heather McKnight led the way with five kills in
seven swings with no errors.
In the first game, we controlled the game with our serve, Hunterdon Central
coach Christine Drevitch said. Every serve went where we wanted it.
But Hunterdon Central did all that from the left side of the court, the side
where it practices every day and starts every match. When the teams rotated,
so did the airflow in the gym -- and momentum.
From the other side of the court, Hunterdon Central float-served in the same
direction that two large exhaust fans were pulling the air. The result was
four service errors, no aces and lost control of the tempo.
Barturen's hitting woes carried over, but Livingston got multiple kills from
Rosenman, Abuouf and Melissa Morelli to force an extra game. When Livingston
won the coin toss, the choice between side and serve was easy.
We were keeping that side hands down, Barturen, who had 31 digs, said. I
think the fans really affected the serve from the other side, and I think we
were able to hold the pace of the game better once we switched.
The conditions remained in Livingstons favor -- Hunterdon Central missed four
serves in the last game -- but the third game was definitely up for grabs
because Barturen was way off -- she had 10 kills and 13 errors in 46 attempts
for negative-.069 hitting.
But Abuouf took control late, spiking four kills in five plays to turn a one-
point advantage into a 22-18 Livingston lead. Three plays later, Barturen was
able to put down the final two kills for the victory.
I didnt play hero or anything, Abuouf said. Everyone has off days, but team
efforts get them through. I wasnt thinking I had to step up and take over. It
just sort of happened.
From the Sept. 15th Star Ledger
Livingston def. Columbia, 25-5, 25-13:
Samantha Rosenman had five kills, three aces and two digs and Ainhoa Barturen
served 16 points with six aces and had seven kills and four digs to lead
Livingston (2-0), No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 20 in Livingston. Columbia is
From the Star Ledger Sunday Sept. 12th
Ainhoa Barturen of Livingston knew that many of the stronger teams competing
in the Northern Valley Invitational had lost key players from last season,
including co-host Demarest, which won the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions last
year and has finished No. 1 in The Star-Ledger Top 20 the last four seasons.
But in her eyes, that didn't alter the magnitude of those matchups. So when
Livingston earned splits with Hunterdon Central and Demarest in pool play, it
served as a spark.
"I felt we had the strongest pool in the tournament," Barturen said. "We knew
coming in that a lot of teams lost players, but Demarest is still Demarest.
So when we were able to take a game off them, I think we realized that we
were good enough to beat anybody."
Barturen saw to it that Livingston proved that, spearheading a 25-21
quarterfinal victory over Demarest, putting away 13 kills with two aces in a
25-22 semifinal victory over Ridgewood and spiking nine kills in 16 swings
with no errors for a 25-17 victory over co-host Old Tappan in the
championship game yesterday in Old Tappan.
In that final game, Livingston also received strong play at the net from
outside hitter Sam Rosenman (three kills) and middle Lauren Abuouf (five
kills), which was the difference. Old Tappan had just two players with
multiple kills in the game, Jamie Marzocchi with six and Sondra Snyder with
"I'm not big on individual numbers, but I knew, once we got deeper into the
playoffs, I had to step up and be a leader," Barturen said. "I was so
impressed with how hard everyone played and how the team came together."
Sept 11th Star Ledger
Livingston def. Morristown, 25-13, 25-10:
Ainhoa Barturen had seven digs and five kills and Kelly Grobeis and Sam
Rosenman served a combined 29 points as Livingston cruised in Morristown.