Mount Olive Spring Sports: It’s a Wrap

By Steve Sears

Head Coach David Gallucci’s Mount Olive Boys Lacrosse team lost a close playoff contest against West Morris Mendham, 15-13. The team finished at 6-9 overall, and 3-9 in NNJLL RIZK conference play. Michael Byrnes tallied five goals in the game for the Marauders.

For the season, Michael McCreery had 37 goals and 18 assists, leading the team in total points with 55, while Byrnes chipped in with 16 and 10 respectively. Jack Kopas had 20 goals and 7 assists for the Marauders. Goalie Yanni Kalas has 162 saves on the season. 

McCreery, Byrnes, and Kopas are graduating, but Kalas will return in net in 2020.

Vivianne Bolen’s Girls squad, competing in the NJIGLL Freedom North Conference, finished 3-4 in league play and 7-11 overall. The 9th seeded Marauders was ousted in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 Tournament by Morristown, 15-6. 

Aubrey Giordano, Madison Palumbo, and Deanna Cohen each scored 30 or more goals on the year. Ally Mayer contributed 29. Cohen led the team with 15 assists and a total of 45 points. 

Madison Bednarik saved 166 shots in goal.

Bolen has a good reason to be happy. Although she loses Cohen and Palumbo to graduation, Giordano and Mayer will return for their sophomore and senior seasons.

Jim McDermott’s Mount Olive Boys Baseball team concluded their 2019 season with a 13-12 record, and 5-7 in the NJAC – National Conference. The club made it to the quarterfinals of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 Tournament, but lost to Bloomfield, 6-1. The 8th seeded Marauders had defeated opening round opponent Passaic, 11-10, to advance.

Conor MacLachlan and Mike Pizza led the offense this year with 25 and 18 hits respectively. McLachlan also batted .417 with 14 RBIs, and Pizza .514 with 15 RBIs. They were aided by Nick Cormier and Eddie Mastrodomenico, whose batting averages were .385 and .429. Cormier had 10 hits on the season, Mastrodomenico 12.

MacLachlan also led the pitching staff. He had a 5-1 record with a 2.84 ERA in 49 innings pitched, striking out 63. Mastrodomenico had a 3-1 record with a 1.87 ERA and 9 strikeouts.

All eyes will be on McLachlan next season as he takes the mound as a senior.

The Mount Olive Girls Softball team came close…twice. Close to the pinnacle of success, a breath away from winning the Morris County Tournament final, and then losing to Hightstown in the 2019 NJSIAA Group 4 State Championship final at Kean University, 9-4.

In the state title game, in which the #20 ranked Marauders were making their first appearance, the hitting stars were Bella Salafia and Alyssa Segnelo with a double and two-run triple respectively, but it was not enough to stop Hightstown.

In the MCT softball final, Skye Eppel of Morris Knolls broke the hearts of the Mount Olive faithful, clubbing a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the 7th inning for an 11-9 win – this after the Marauders had scored 5 runs in the top of the inning to take a 9-8 lead.

In the state semifinals, however, the Marauders bested Morris Knolls, 3-2.

Lindsey Walter led the team with 56 hits, 21 RBIs and 30 runs scored, and Kaitlin Pettinger had 30 hits, 20 RBIs and 20 runs scored. Their batting averages respectively were .577 and .390. Anna Callahan was star pitcher, winning 14 games and losing just 4. In 121 innings pitched, she gave up 94 hits, walked 26 batters, and struck out 77.

Callahan and Pettinger were both named to the Morris County All-Coaches Team.

Hopes are high for Bill Romano’s club as they look forward to their 2020 season.

The Mount Olive Golf team struggled this season, finishing with a 3-13 record. Big wins for the team were triumphs over Morris Catholic and Morris Hills. The team graduates four seniors, but Jake Carasoli, McKenzie Lynch, Matt Song, and Jason Strazza return to bolster the 2020 squad.

The Mount Olive Boys Tennis team, coached by Dan Grzywacz, recently completed their 2019 campaign with a 3-12 record while competing in North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3. Although a challenging season, the squad has a number of players returning, including Anshul Dalua, Akshat Jain, Ayush Joshipura, and Salhitya Kalkarni.

As for Track & Field, Vanessa Benfatti’s Girls team had a score of 26 points in the Morris County Relays. The team came in third place in the 4×800 relays, team members including Isabella Acevedo, Laura Green, Genevieve Sarinelli, Maris Persson, and Julia Redmond. The team turned it around, however, and took first place in the Sprint Medley Relay. Persson, Sophia and Julia Redmond, and Green clocking in at 4:14.88. The team came in fifth in the Long Jump category with Hannah Scott, Sophia Redmond, and Alicia Jones competing. The team also came in fifth in the Shot Put, Caitlin and Victoria Gayles the lone representative for the Marauders in that category.

Joe Hehn’s Boys team also took part in the Morris County Relays, finishing seventh with 24 total points. The squad placed forth in the 4×400, Joseph Gomez, Connor Cupen, Lukas LaBar, Jaymin Mistry,  Brandon Kuback, John Lucas Trombley, Stephen Goodyear, and Tariq Khan representing the team in the event. Kuback, Trombley, Mistry, LaBar, Cupen, as well as Jalen Joseph, Michael Cowan, and Dedrick Deshommes placed as a team in the Sprint Medley Relay. Star high jumpers for Mount Olive at the relays were AJ McKay, Khan, and Joseph (the team came in third place), and Khan and  Anthony Rocco led the team to a second place Long Jump finish. The Marauders placed third in the Triple Jump, with McKay, Khan, and Rocco starring. 

All in all, an exciting spring sports season for Mount Olive High School sports.

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