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Latest News in Madison, NJ

Montville sweeps Madison in N2G2 final for first girls volleyball sectional title

The Montville girls volleyball team was undoubtedly proud of this season’s conference and county titles, especially with the Morris County Tournament crown being the program’s first.That still would have meant a lot to the players and coaches if the trophy collecting were over, but the growing prize package of a season became a lot more memorable Tuesday.A sweep of county rival Madison, 27-25, 25-22, in the NJSIAA/JAG-ONE Physical Therapy girls volleyball North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 final gave Montville an even...

The Montville girls volleyball team was undoubtedly proud of this season’s conference and county titles, especially with the Morris County Tournament crown being the program’s first.

That still would have meant a lot to the players and coaches if the trophy collecting were over, but the growing prize package of a season became a lot more memorable Tuesday.

A sweep of county rival Madison, 27-25, 25-22, in the NJSIAA/JAG-ONE Physical Therapy girls volleyball North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 final gave Montville an even bigger first, a sectional title.

Nobody seemed certain of when the program began - it was eventually determined that it was 2002 - but the number that mattered most was zero, as in the number of previous sectional championships.

“It’s really cool to do it with the girls, especially the seniors,” senior setter Michela Voit said. “Last year we lost in the sectional finals, and this year we’ve gone so far together, getting back to the sectional finals. We’ve really just become like a family. We never doubted ourselves this season.”

Fourth-seeded Madison (22-5) certainly tested that resolve by making both sets absolute battles, but second-seeded Montville (23-3) always found an answer behind the strength of its middle hitters and the pace of its attack.

Madison was actually at the service line at 25-24 with a chance to win the first set, which was tied nine different times and saw six different lead changes. But one of its passes hit the blade of a fan hanging from the ceiling and bounced wildly to result in a tying point for Montville, which then went ahead on a hitting error.

Cristina Presssimone then served up set point with an ace that hit the top of the net and bounced over as a sprawled-out Katelyn Williams of Madison, lined up for the return, could only watch helplessly.

Madison built a 16-11 lead in the second set, but its passing errors started to take a toll and service aces from Cassie Chauhan and Adrianna Pressimone fueled a Montville surge to a 20-17 lead.

The hosts maintained at least a slim lead the rest of the way and were up 24-22 when a block in the middle from Chauhan fittingly sealed their first title.

“I don’t think we played all that well,” said Angelica Maiello, in her ninth season as Montville coach. “My girls enjoyed tonight. They won. Good teams find a way to win. But it (the second) wasn’t our best set. I think there was so much anticipation because it was what they wanted. It was within their reach, but they couldn’t quite catch it. But in the end they took advantage.”

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“I give it to their middles. We are so used to our middles canceling out the other teams’, but it was tougher for us to deal with their middles.”

Montville, No. 18 in the NJ.com Top 20, did plenty of damage at the net with Katie Gorski, who had a team-high 11 kills to go with two blocks, and Chauhan, who totaled eight kills and four blocks, but No. 20 Madison mostly kept pace through the contributions of Olivia Bruno (eight kills and nine digs), Izzy Hunter (six kills and eight digs) and Angelina Christoffers (six kills and four digs).

But Montville stayed steady to set up a Group 2 semifinal meeting with No. 11 Sparta, which knocked off No. 8 River Dell in the North 1 final.

The semifinal is set for Thursday in Sparta.

Madison coach Stephen Fenton, whose program was seeking its first sectional title since 2013, realized his biggest fear of trying to contain Montville’s middle hitters, which was magnified by hitting errors.

“We didn’t handle their big middle (Gorski) as well as I would have like,” said Fenton, in his 17th year as his program’s coach. “She got a few swings in when we didn’t even have hands up on the block. We actually were going to try to double-block her. That was the game plan, so we knew where the ball was going. It didn’t seem like we executed it very well. I think that was the difference. We didn’t quite shut her down enough.”

Not finishing the chance to take the first set was a tough blow for Madison.

“I thought our serving kept them off-balance a little bit,” Fenton said. “We had a set point. I was feeling good at that point. Taking that first set is so big. But being the set was so close, I didn’t have any problem thinking we being competitive in the second set. And then we took the lead in that second set, but then it started to fall apart a little bit.”

Fenton pointed out his team’s 13 hitting errors as a critical factor, which Maiello said could have been the end result of her team’s pace of attack.

“When we’re on our game, we run our offense fast,” Maiello said. “And I think people in the county aren’t used to running a fast offense. So I think opponents get caught in spots because we’re running the offense a lot faster than they were.”

The serving of Sydney Bruns and Bruno produced a combined nine service points when a 4-1 deficit turned into a 10-7 lead in the second set for Madison, which led by as many as five, at 16-11, in the final set.

But the host Mustangs chipped away at the lead, with the attack carefully orchestrated by Voit, who masterfully mixed in back sets that caught Madison off-guard and generally spread the ball well among her teammates.

Chauhan served up four straight points, including an ace, to put Montville back in the lead at 17-16, then Adrianna Pressimone served up two more, with another ace, to make it 20-18 Montville.

The teams traded points until a Chauhan kill set up match point at 24-22, when she promptly came up with the block to win it.

“We never backed down,” Voit said. “We constantly hit the ball. We never played scared. If we were nervous, we still ran the offense.”

Montville will try to reach make the most of its first trip to the group semifinals, where a victory Thursday would send the team to the group finals on Sunday at Franklin High School.

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Why I am Supporting Dr. Kathleen Ruddy for BOE

Why I am Supporting Dr. Kathleen Ruddy for BOEAgainst great opposition, including falsified web sites and campaign materials, Dr. Ruddy has stood strong and firm for the rights of parents to make decisions about what is best regarding the health and well-being of their children. Her strength is inspirational.Kathleen Ruddy firmly opposes the NJ Sex EdSign Up for FREE Madison NewsletterMandates, believing the mandates should be stopped until age inappropriate sexual content is removed, and the poli...

Why I am Supporting Dr. Kathleen Ruddy for BOE

Against great opposition, including falsified web sites and campaign materials, Dr. Ruddy has stood strong and firm for the rights of parents to make decisions about what is best regarding the health and well-being of their children. Her strength is inspirational.

Kathleen Ruddy firmly opposes the NJ Sex Ed

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Mandates, believing the mandates should be stopped until age inappropriate sexual content is removed, and the policy amended to prevent schools' transitioning of children without parental consent. Kathleen helped lead the charge in Madison with the collection of 190 signed petitions opposing the mandates.

There are new policies being introduced that don't relate to core academics. Currently, Madison Schools are enacting mandatory policies in the curriculum, unrelated to core academics, that are imbued with ethical, moral, and religious concerns. Kathleen, running under the slogan "Clarity of Curriculum", has pledged to work with the BOE members to ensure all policies respect parental rights, and will faithfully represent ALL Madison citizens. The majority of parents believe these areas fall strictly under their authority and control.

As a Breast Cancer surgeon, Dr. Ruddy brings unique medical and leadership experiences to the BOE.

On a final note, as a breast cancer survivor, I am personally thankful for Dr. Ruddy's professional contributions.

Suzanne Schreiber

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Do you have an opinion on something happening in your town or about a story you read on TAPinto? Submit a letter to the editor here . Letters could be edited for length, clarity or spelling. Publication is at the sole discretion of TAPinto and must be factually accurate and not defamatory. You must also include your name and phone number, for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be published. If TAPinto deems your letter defamatory or inaccurate, the writer may be given the opportunity to revise their letter or provide documentation for their claims. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, TAPinto cannot personally guarantee a response for each submission. If your letter is published, you will receive a response.

4 Madison Student Athletes Sign National Letter of Intent

Madison student athletes Tyler Shannon, Rileigh Baggett, Gwendolyn Eilender, and Alexandra Reigle as well as Madison Atheltic Director Ryan Scheifler celebrate national signing day MADISON, NJ – On Wednesday afternoon a quartet of student athletes from Madison High School signed their national letters of intent to commit to competing in collegiate sports come next year. Tyler Shannon (Hartford), Rileigh Baggett (Wagner), Gwendolyn Eilender (Elon), and Alex Reigle (Richmond) signed their national...

Madison student athletes Tyler Shannon, Rileigh Baggett, Gwendolyn Eilender, and Alexandra Reigle as well as Madison Atheltic Director Ryan Scheifler celebrate national signing day

MADISON, NJ – On Wednesday afternoon a quartet of student athletes from Madison High School signed their national letters of intent to commit to competing in collegiate sports come next year. Tyler Shannon (Hartford), Rileigh Baggett (Wagner), Gwendolyn Eilender (Elon), and Alex Reigle (Richmond) signed their national letters of intent as a long road for these high school athletes came to a celebratory end.

Shannon who is set to join the Hartford baseball program next year led the Dodgers in the 2022 season in hits and runs batted in with 25 and 18, respectively. Those accomplishments led to the future Hawk being named to the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Liberty Division All-Conference 1st Team. Being a part of national signing day, the corner infielders says, was a moment he had been waiting a long time for.

“It’s been a day I’ve always thought about since I was little,” Shannon said. “It’s nice to put the name on the paper and know you’ve made it so it’s definitely a good feeling and I’ll never forget this day.”

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With his final year at Madison coming up in the spring, Shannon is looking forward to finishing his career at the highest of notes. “It’s a team aspect for me. Getting to play with my friends that I’ve with since I was little. And I really want to win a state championship so that’s obviously the goal at the end of the day but being with my friends is most important.”

Amongst the other members of the Madison class of 2023 that saw themselves officially commit to participating in athletics at the next level were a duo on the girls lacrosse team that should pack at potent one-two punch in the upcoming season. Gwendolyn Eilender and Rileigh Baggett are set to join the Elon and Wagner programs upon their graduation from Madison and both student athletes are really excited for what’s in store ahead.

“I mean it feels pretty good,” Eilender said of finally putting the pen to paper. “After all of the recruiting process and all the stress of everything on top of school work it just feels really good to have it all done. It feels good to finally know where you are going and now you get excited to go to your school next year.”

Baggett shared a similar sentiment saying, “It definitely is a weight lifted off our shoulders. I know for all of us we just feel a lot more relieved and it just feels so good to be done and have it settled right now.”

The two players are vastly important to the success of the Madison girls lacrosse team for this upcoming season as they are arguably the most important players on each side of the field for the Dodgers. Eilender leads the line in attack for Madison and paced the Dodgers in assists with 47 as well as overall points with 95 a season ago. In defense, Baggett headlines a strong unit for Madison as the Wagner commit looks to build off an accomplished junior year as she was one of three defenders state wide to be an All-Group 1 selection. Both players know it will be bitter sweet to play alongside each other one last time. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and us knowing where we’re going it’s going to have a lot less pressure,” Eilender stated. “I think that we’re going to take this opportunity, this last year, to just have fun with it… we’re going to have a lot of the same team, we had a young team last year, so we’re going to have some new kids so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

“I’m really ready for this year,” Baggett emphasized. “I’m definitely going to miss the entire team when we graduate and it ends but I’m just looking forward to it. I’m going to miss playing with Gwen because we have been playing together basically our whole lives but the team this year is going to be so much fun so I’m really looking forward to it.”

The fourth Madison senior to make her plans official for next year was girls soccer player Alex Reigle. The star center back was the center piece to one of the best defenses in the state as the Dodgers only conceded 12 goals in 16 games during the 2022 season. Reigle will continue her career at Richmond University and, like her classmates, was also thrilled to make her commitment official.

“It feels so great,” the future Richmond Spider said. “Obviously you hear how hard the recruitment process is and it’s nothing short of that. It’s so taxing on mental and physical health, always training and always sending emails so finally signing away my intent to play and knowing that my future is set is such a great feeling.”

Unlike her Madison classmates, Reigle’s athletics career, at least in the sport that she is committed to play at college, is over for the Dodgers as Madison took an early exit in the state playoffs after getting upset in the first round by West Essex. Despite the disappointing end to her senior season, Reigle is happy that she is continuing her soccer career at the next level.

“It feels great,” Reigle said about having the opportunity to play at the next level. “[The season] didn’t end the way we wanted to but knowing that wasn’t my last game was super relieving. Obviously it was heartbreaking that it was my last game with my friends and people I’ve grown up with my whole life but knowing that I get to keep doing what I love and keep being passionate about soccer is a great feeling.”

As for what she has learn in her four years in the Madison program that she can take to Richmond, Reigle gave a tried and true answer.

“I think, and this is so cliché, but hard work really pays off because I really think it does. Here we work so hard in preseason, whether that’s running or constantly [being] on the field trying to get better and you can see our progression over the season. I’m definitely going to take that away – keep grinding, keep working hard and the payoff will come, you’ll see results.”

Housing Development Proposed For Madison's Historic District

MADISON, NJ — A developer is seeking Madison Borough Planning Board approval to construct two complementary new mixed-use building on Central Avenue in Madison.The applicant, 66 Main, LLC, proposes to construct two four-story mixed-use buildings on two properties that will be designed to look like a series of five buildings, according to planning board documents.The structure at 5 Central Avenue will appear to be three buildings, while the structure at 3 Central Avenue will appear to be two.Project Attorney Steven ...

MADISON, NJ — A developer is seeking Madison Borough Planning Board approval to construct two complementary new mixed-use building on Central Avenue in Madison.

The applicant, 66 Main, LLC, proposes to construct two four-story mixed-use buildings on two properties that will be designed to look like a series of five buildings, according to planning board documents.

The structure at 5 Central Avenue will appear to be three buildings, while the structure at 3 Central Avenue will appear to be two.

Project Attorney Steven Azzolini, who is representing both applications, explained that the plan for this development was created because the property owners want to create cohesive neighboring complexes.

The proposal for 3 Central Avenue was submitted last year, according to planning board records. Following that, the neighboring property owner, Ledan Holdings, LLC, of 5 Central Ave., suggested that the property owners present the same team to the board and work in conjunction.

The potential housing structure, according to the application, would include retail businesses on the ground level and nine residential apartments on the upper levels, one of which would be an affordable housing unit.

The applicant is also requesting a variance to allow four stores to be located in the retail section of the two buildings, despite the fact that the typical allowance is three, according to officials.

According to planning board engineer Dennis Harrington, the proposed site is located within the Madison Civic Commercial Historic District, which means that the Historic Preservation Commission must conduct a thorough review of the proposal.

Despite the fact that the application makes no mention of additional on-site parking, officials previously identified nearby public lots such as Waverly Green Lot as a possibility. The applicant, according to Harrington, requested a waiver from the requirement for a traffic study, which was granted.

No stormwater management is required for the building's specific dimensions, but applicant engineer Anthony Facchino is proposing a "blue roof" to help with flash flooding by slowing the rate of runoff.

The "blue roof," according to Harrington, is a type of system that is connected to the existing roof drains under the sidewalk along Central Avenue.

At the Oct. 18 board meeting, board members raised issues that they said would be addressed at the next meeting, such as a lack of parking and building materials. The board canceled the next scheduled meeting, which was scheduled for Nov. 1, and it will now be held on Nov. 15.

Lighting Project In The Works For Madison's Borough Hall

The lighting at the Hartley Dodge Memorial is being updated. MADISON, NJ — The Hartley Dodge Memorial might be getting a lighting makeover, according to a presentation made at a recent Madison Borough Council meeting.A lighting designer from New York-based Office for Visual Interaction (OVI), which has designed lighting for other historic structures such as the Canadian Parliament Building was among those who spoke about the firm's plans to change the nighttime lighting of Hartley Dodge Memorial.The Hartley Dodge...

The lighting at the Hartley Dodge Memorial is being updated.

MADISON, NJ — The Hartley Dodge Memorial might be getting a lighting makeover, according to a presentation made at a recent Madison Borough Council meeting.

A lighting designer from New York-based Office for Visual Interaction (OVI), which has designed lighting for other historic structures such as the Canadian Parliament Building was among those who spoke about the firm's plans to change the nighttime lighting of Hartley Dodge Memorial.

The Hartley Dodge Foundation, a private organization assigned with the building's historic preservation thanks to an endowment from Mrs. Dodge, hired OVI at no cost to borough taxpayers, officials said.

According to John Forte, who chairs the building and grounds committee for the foundation's trustee board, the foundation decided to light the building's exterior last year after the borough began renovations of the Hartley Dodge Memorial plaza.

"About a year and half ago as the plaza project was getting underway, we looked at the project and we said, 'we believe we can enhance this.' The lighting needed to be enhanced for code reasons anyway and we felt we could do it in a way that was in keeping with the historic nature of the building," Forte said.

According to OVI lighting designer Marcus Fuerderer, the designs call for variable lighting of the Kings Road building's facade, central portico, bell tower and columns, as well as handrail lighting in the plaza.

The building, which serves as Madison's Borough Hall, could also be colored for holidays and special occasions, Fuerderer added. "Essentially we are creating a backdrop for urban and cultural events."

The lighting concept's main goal was to highlight some of the building's historic features while also bringing the Harley Dodge Memorial into the twenty-first century and making it a building that remains relevant within the community.

"We want to be very delicate and subtle with the articulation. We don't want this to be like a casino or anything else that stands out in the night, really calling attention. What we want is a translation of what it is during the daytime," Fuerderer said.

Adding the new lights would not require heavy construction, as the infrastructure was already added when the building went under renovations last year, Mayor Bob Conley said.

According to Tyler Merson, project manager for the foundation, phase one of the project, which includes the relocation of floodlights on the lawn, replacement of portico and rear building lighting, and installation of individual column lighting, will begin this fall and continue into the spring.

The second phase, which will begin in the spring, will include the installation of new handrail lighting at the main, east and west entrances, as well as the replacement of lights in the streetlamps in front of the building along Kings Road, which will be less bright and more in keeping with the rest of the projected lighting plan.

Merson stated that the final stage of the project would be the removal of four existing stanchion lights.

Borough Council Member Rachel Ehrlich raised concerns over possible light pollution due to the new additions.

In response, Fuerderer said that OVI implemented the same lighting style for the New York Times Building. "The majority of luminaires and lighting hardware that we are installing is facing downwards so the reflected light can be essentially neglected, there is not a lot of that."

The only potential issue would be the accentuation of the building's front columns, which would necessitate upward facing lights, but Fuerderer assured the board that those lights could be dimmed as needed.

In a final response Mayor Conley said the plans look like a "great project" for Madison and thanked the foundation trustees for their support of the project.

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