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February 15, 2010

 

Trojans breeze into semis

Basketball

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Rachel Perry spikes the ball against Chittenango’s Mackenzie Jones in the first game of Saturday’s Class A match. Perry had 14 kills as the Trojans swept into the semifinals.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

It had been eight days since Homer Central girls played a volleyball match.
With two extra days to prepare after Thursday’s Section 3 Class A quarterfinal round match with 10th-seed Chittenango had been pushed back to Saturday, Trojans coach Brian Fox was not sure what to expect from his second-seeded squad.
What he did get was a solid 25-13, 25-17, 25-12 sweep by his OHSL Freedom Division champions over the visitors and a trip to the semifinals. Homer (14-3) will meet sixth-seed Fulton (13-7) Wednesday night at eight o’clock in Jamesville-DeWitt High School.
The other semifinal on Wednesday has ninth-seed Cortland High (10-8) taking on fourth-seed Oneida (11-5) in a 6 p.m. start at Chittenango High.
“Having that first-round bye can be beneficial,” said Coach Fox of the lay-off. “Having two extra days to prepare after the match was pushed back, I was not so sure of.
“I just told the girls we will have a little more time to practice,” he continued. “We actually had very good practices and we really came out ready to play today. That is all because of the dedication and hard work by these girls.”
Was there any concern over being the number two seed in the tournament?
“I don’t think the girls are overconfident with the second seed,” Fox replied. “We are just taking the same approach as we did during the season. It’s one match at a time. Go out and relax. Have fun at each match and don’t get nervous or tight. When we play loose, we do well.”
Homer set the tone on the first point of the match when Alysha Camp delivered a powerful cross-court spike from her left-outside position. The Trojans led 1-0. With Camp now serving, Ashley Cavellier drove the ball through an attempted block by the Chittenango front line and a Bears’ miscue put the Trojans ahead 3-0.
Chittenango battled back to knot the score at 5-5, but Homer countered with a 5-0 run. Camp added two more kills while Cavellier served-up an ace during the run. The lead continued to grow as the Trojans played with confidence.
When Cavellier got a second chance to serve in the rotation and her team leading 21-13, the senior captain began with her second ace of the game. Two of the final three points came from kills by senior captain Rachel Perry and the Trojan took the game 25-13.
“THE GIRLS REALLY came out ready in that first game,” Fox said. “They played like they have all season long. Taryn Heath ran things as the setter and our hitters put the ball away with strong hits.”
The second game was the toughest of the three for Homer. Chittenango took advantage of some Trojan miscues and some hits that just went long or wide.
Trailing 8-11, Fox called time-out to get his troops refocused, The game saw six ties from 11-11 to 16-16 before Homer took control for good.
Leading 18-16, Perry and Cavellier followed with back-to-back kills as the advantage grew to 20-16. The Bears got one point back, but but a serve into the net by Chittenango’s Rachel Antelmi was the final time the Bears served in these game.
Trojan senior Deanne Stafford put the ball in play with four good serves. Two kills by Perry and one by Cavellier preceded Stafford’s game-ending ace and Homer was one game away from advancing to the semifinals.
“We kinda played around that game and let Chittenango stay close,” Fox explained. “I told the girls that could be dangerous, especially at this point of the season. They listened and we again took charge in the third game.”
Chittenango did take a 3-1 lead. Mackenzie Jones served an ace and Antelmi added a defensive point-block, but that was about as serious a threat the Bears would put up in the game.
Homer went on a 5-0 run to take a 6-3 lead. The advantage grew to five points until the score stood at 15-10 in the Trojans’ favor. From that point on, Homer outpointed Chittenango 10-2 to close out the three-game sweep.
PERRY FINISHED the match with 14 kills. Cavellier and Camp added seven kills each. Camp added seven digs, Cavellier (two aces) four digs and Katie Camp chipped in with nine digs. Katie Sinclair added four kills to the Trojan attack.
“We knew that Chittenango focused on blocking in the middle of the court,” Fox said. “That allowed our outside hitters to be free and Taryn (33 assists) made all the right choices.”
“In reality,” he added.”All the girls played well. It was a good team effort.”
Hayley Calarco led Chittenango with eight assists and two kills. Rose Mashie finished with four kills and four assists while Brittany Tirabassi added five kills.