Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Super Cutters

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Super Cutters

Article excerpt

SOUTH BRUNSWICK - True believers to the very end. Because Fair Lawn never lost faith, even when things appeared bleakest, the Cutters are a repeat state champion - and they did it the hard way.

Rallying from almost certain defeat in the first game, Fair Lawn stunned Southern Regional, 25-23, 13-25, 25-22, in the Tournament of Champions boys volleyball final Thursday at South Brunswick High School.

"This team refused to accept losing; ultimate victory was really the only acceptable outcome," said Fair Lawn senior middle hitter and co-captain Chris Colomier. "We never let down or allowed ourselves even a bit of doubt even when it looked bad. We maintained our intensity and focus and we kept plugging away, point by point, to put ourselves out from under and into a better position."

Fair Lawn (37-4), which defeated Southern in two sets in last year's state final, trailed 23-17 in the opener, and it was almost a given that the first set would go to the Rams from Ocean County. But the Cutters incredibly tallied the next eight points, not allowing the Manahawkin school a single side-out when one would have meant match-point danger and two would have signaled disaster.

A spike by Chris Nugent down the middle gave the Cutters a 24-23 lead. Then Colomier, off a dig by Nick Amos that Southern barely returned, put away a blast that the Rams touched back into the net and onto the floor for the victory point in the first game.

"When the momentum swung to our side it just stayed there and we made that surge pay off big," said Nugent, a junior outside hitter who posted a match-high 22 kills. "We seized the high ground and we never let it slip from our grasp."

Southern came back to take the second game, 23-13, and led 6-4 early in the third game. But Fair Lawn scratched its way back, similar to the opener, and assumed leads of 14-11, 15-12 and 21-15. …

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