The second-seeded Wolfpack, plagued by errors, reached the end of their memorable season on Tuesday, suffering a 25-23, 25-19 setback to third-seeded Old Tappan in a North Jersey Group III semifinal.
Like her teammates, Savite didn't want West Morris' run, which featured Morris County Tournament and NJAC-National Division titles, to cease. The close-knit players lingered in the gym for quite a while, hugging and consoling one another.
"I don't like that it ended like this," she said. "We gave them a lot of unnecessary points. That's not how we play."
West Morris (25-4) had hoped to get even with Old Tappan, the team that ousted it from the state tournament in the North Jersey Group III final last fall. The Wolfpack's wish never came to fruition, although they put up a good fight in the first game and led by as many as five points in the second.
Old Tappan returned only one starter, Kelsey Morgan, from the 2010 squad that claimed the Tournament of Champions title yet has continued to play a high level of volleyball. Old Tappan came into the match with great respect for the Wolfpack.
"We know West Morris as a tough-serving team," Old Tappan coach Melissa Landeck said. "They're solid fundamentally. We knew we had to serve and pass well. That's their forte, too. It was a good day for us blocking. We had a lot of nice touches by our middle hitters."
Over and over, miscues hurt West Morris. The Wolfpack stayed close in the first game and were looking good in the second game until Kayla Farrell began serving with West Morris ahead, 14-10.
Farrell, a senior, reeled off seven consecutive service points. Old Tappan (16-6) went ahead, 15-14, on a kill by Kim Morgan. Down 18-15, West Morris kept fighting. Aniela Huizenga had a kill for 20-17. Long and wide hits by the Wolfpack enabled Old Tappan to build on its lead.
West Morris fended off match point in the second game when Annie Halbert made a kill. However, Old Tappan prevailed when the Wolfpack hit a ball into the net.
"We tried," Savite said. "Old Tappan's blocks were good. Their middle blocker took away the cross pass really well."
For West Morris, Halbert, an outside hitter, had two aces, seven service points, seven kills and 10 digs. Huizenga finished with three aces, four service points, two kills, nine assists and eight digs. Libero Danielle Olcese had 19 digs.
Farrell had five kills for Old Tappan and Samantha Alechko, Molly Brown and Melissa Errico had four apiece. Kim Morgan had 12 assists.
"We're a work in progress," Landeck said. "We try to improve a little bit each day. They girls have risen to the challenge and work as hard as last year's group and want the same things."
**PHOTO GALLERY BELOW**