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January 8, 2010

 

Homer climbs into 1st

VolleyballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Rachel Perry (5) hangs above the net trying to block the spike attempt of Fulton’s Kayla Pawlewicz during Thursday’s OHSL Freedom Division match. Perry had 13 kills as the Trojans won 25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18 to earn a share of first place in the division.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

It’s all about timing!
There were many who were thinking Homer Central volleyball would tail off with departure of two long-time staples in the program the past four years, but that certainly is not the case.
Katie Wick and McKenna Riley graduated after great career for the Trojans, but their former supporting cast has certainly turned heads with some excellent play. The latest evidence was a 25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18 OHSL Freedom Division triumph by Homer over visiting Fulton Thursday night at the high school.
The Trojans’ victory, coupled with a Syracuse CBA loss to East Syracuse-Minoa over five games, lifted Homer (7-2 overall) back into a first-place tie with The Brothers with matching 6-1 league records. Fulton dips to 5-2 in the division, 5-4 overall.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Cavellier had 10 digs and nine kills for the Trojans while senior middle blocker Rachel Perry added 13 kills. Sophomore setter Taryn Heath added 39 assists and two kills while junior outside hitter Katie Camp delivered 12 digs and three kills
These are just four members of a group that has stepped up and delivered solid team play throughout the 2009-10 season.
“Our success has been the development of younger players who have now become our leaders,” Homer coach Brian Fox said. “A lot of that credit has to go to our athletic director Mike Carboine and the parents of our players. They have supported bringing the girls up when they were young. Sure, they may not have played as much, but they are learning every step of the way. That pays off in the long run.
“It’s nice to see Rachel and Ashley taking charge now,” he continued of Perry and Cavellier. “They are really stepping up and becoming the mentors to the new batch of younger players. Before they were looking up to the seniors, now they are the senior leaders. Taryn has really come so far as well. She is truly becoming a leader and taking charge as well. Her teammates are looking at her to be a leader. All three are coming out from under a big shadow (Wick and Riley) and proving they are fine players as well.”
After taking the first two games, Homer was looking for a sweep, but Fulton nixed that idea. With Sabrina Sutton and Taylor Harvey leading the way with powerful kills, the Red Raiders slowly pulled away from an 11-11 tie to build a 17-12 lead. Alysha Camp delivered a nice kill of her own to pull Homer close at 20-17, but a kill and and block by Kayla Pawlewicz helped Fulton take five of the final six points to post the 25-18 victory and force a fourth game.
WITH FULTON serving at 5-5 in the fourth game, Cavellier drove the ball through a block attempt by Pawlewicz to put the Trojans in front for good at 6-5. Two nice kills and a great dig for another point by freshman libero Lainne Reed helped continue a five-point run as Homer built a 10-5 cushion.
A couple of miscues by Homer allowed Fulton to close the gap to two points, but Katie Camp scored on a nice long hit just inside the back line. That jump-started another 5-0 run by the Trojans as the lead grew to 15-8. Fulton never got closer than four points the rest of the game and Homer sealed the match with the 25-18 win in the game.
Sutton finished with 19 kills for Fulton. Harvey had eight kills and five digs while Pawlewicz totaled five kills and four blocks. Lindsay Navagh chipped in with 35 assists and three digs. Karlee Osborne recorded eight kills and five digs with Kristen Francis adding eight digs.
“We played well, but made some crucial mistakes,” Fulton coach Caroline Richardson said. “We did some good things, but we have some other things to work on. Homer played well too, so give them some credit.”
In addition to those Homer players mentioned earlier, Alysha Camp had 10 kills, two digs and two aces, while Katie Sinclair delivered nine kills and three blocks. There really is a lot of balance throughout the Trojan team.
“Our focus has been defense, which has in turn opened up our offense,” Fox explained. “We transition from defense into a quick, fast offensive attack. Not a lot of teams are use to a fast offense.
“It was a nice win for the girls,” he continued. “We were not sure what Fulton really had, but they came to play. Our girls realized that and did the things they needed to do and got us a good win.”
Homer will return to action Monday hosting Chittenango in OHSL Freedom Division play. JV action serves up at 5:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs found themselves on the short end against Fulton to open the action Thursday night. The Junior Raiders posted the 25-10, 14-25, 25-12 win as the Trojans slipped to 1-8 overall.
Sara Yonta led Homer with five assists and three aces. Alyssa Morgan chipped in with three kills, three digs and three aces. Hannah Darr delivered three kills, three digs, two aces and one block while Jessica Mitchell added four aces.
Homer JVs will return to action Saturday at the Marcellus Tournament.