Anastasia: East volleyball eyes title

Cherry Hill East won the Group 4 state title in 2005.

The Cougars think they can do it again.

There's no doubt thsi etam is a longshot. The Cougars are the No. 6 seed in the Group 4 bracket, and they've lost three matches this season to teams that are seeded ahead of them -- No. 1 Southern, No. 4 Wiliasmtown and No. 5 Rancocas Valley.

"We played Southern on a Saturday morning at their place," Cherry hill middle hitter Christina Sexauer said. "We lost to them in three games. We lost to Williamstown in three games. We lost to RV but we came back and beat them the next time we played them.

"We can beat anybody."

The Cougars are 17-3 and a bit of a darkhorse in Group 4. Williamstown seemed like South Jersey's best hope, or maybe RV.

But Cherry Hill East is playing well. The Cougars haven't lost since Oct. 14. They dominated Absegami in the first round, and should handle J.P. Stevens in Friday's second round.

That would propel the Cougars to a quarterfinal match with No. 3 seed Bridgewater-Raritan.

Are they a longshot? Sure.

But this is a team with experience, confidence and a tradition of playing well in big games.

"We won it all when we were freshmen," Cherry Hill senior libero Dana Schwarz said. "We want to follow in their footsteps."