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Old Bridge volleyball makes history while winning Central Jersey title

Old Bridge High School's Elan Dorkhman (15) celebrates with his teammates after completing his 100th kill shot for the year during a home game against Hillsborough High School. The Old Bridge Knights went on to win the game 2-0.

Brett Carroll
Staff Writer

The 2018 boys’ volleyball season has been a historic one for Old Bridge High School.

The Knights set a school mark when they defeated Bridgewater-Raritan High School, 2-1, on June 1 in the final of the Central Jersey state tournament in Bridgewater.

The Knights lost the first game, 25-23, but captured the last two games, 25-16 and 25-17, to win the state sectional title.

The victory is the first Central Jersey state sectional title in the school’s history and improved Old Bridge’s record to 30-5 on the spring. The Knights will now focus on winning the state title this week.

En route to the state sectional final, Old Bridge, led by senior Elan Dorkhman, defeated Hillsborough High School, 2-0, in the semifinals of the Central Jersey state tournament in Old Bridge.

The Knights won the first match 25-20, and were able to fend off a couple of late surges by the Raiders before pulling away with the victory. The second game went back-and-forth all the way to a 22-22 tie, before the Knights made the final 3-1 surge to end the game.

Dorkhman finished the game with seven kills, two assists, one block, and eight digs. His teammate, Andrew Zaleck led with 10 kills, two blocks, and five digs.

“We’ve played this team about three times this season,” Dorkhman said. “We watched film. We looked at their tendencies. We knew we had enough talent to win, and we just spread the ball around, so they weren’t able to predict where the ball was going.”

Besides winning the game, Dorkhman made Old Bridge history, becoming the first Knight to score 1,000 points in his volleyball career. Dorkhman talked about the feat.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Dorkhman said. “Old Bridge has never had a 1,000-point scorer. It’s a great honor to be the first one, and I’m happy with how everything turned out. What a blessing for it to happen at home, at my last game. This is something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Before the match against Bridgewater-Raritan Dorkhman predicted that the team would have to trust its fundamentals in order to win.

“Honestly, we have to stick with the basics,” Dorkhman said. “We have to serve well. We have to pass well. You can’t predict everything that’s going to happen, but you have to stay on your toes, move on, and win it point-by-point.”

Old Bridge also won the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, defeating John P. Stevens High School, 2-0, on May 19.

“Honestly, I don’t know what will be my biggest takeaway yet,” Dorkhman said. “We don’t know how the season is going to end yet. I would say it’s the GMC final, but I’m not done yet. I have a lot of faith in this team. We’re one of the most talented teams that Old Bridge has ever had, along with the 2013 team. It’s just really awesome that I get to be apart of it.”

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