February 21, 2011
Trojans bring home first title
Sweep past Red Raiders in Class A finals
DeWITT — It was only fitting that the first sectional volleyball title would come to Homer Central in a fashion suited to their style of rolling through the opposition all season long.
It also served notice that the Trojans would not be going away any time soon.
Junior setter Taryn Heath served up an ace for the final point as the top-seeded Trojans demolished two-time defending Section 3 Class A champion Fulton in straight sets 25-23, 25-9, 25-13 in Saturday night’s championship match held at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.
Homer capped a 20-1 season with 18 straight wins after losing a five-set, non-league contest to host Syracuse CBA in the third match of the season back on Dec. 20.
“We were so ready to put all that hard work into action one last time,” Homer senior Alysha Camp said during the post-match celebration. “We did it and it feels so good.”
“It’s insane,” senior twin sister Katie Camp shouted over the music blaring in the background. “It feels pretty awesome to bring that title back. Every time we come back to school we will see that trophy and get to remember the feelings we have right now. It will be very special.”
The co-captains wrap up a four-year career with a record of 58 wins and 20 losses, including a 34-5 mark the past two seasons.
The Camps and three classmates share in this special moment of winning their final high school match. Karley Brown and Katelyn Buchanan wrapped up their second varsity seasons. Havyn Bush has been involved in the Trojan volleyball program, but never cracked the varsity roster until this final season, but she played a crucial role while Alysha Camp was out of action. Her contributions in matches and practice were all crucial to the overall success of the season.
“It’s real exciting,” Brown said. “I’m glad we won. It’s been a great season. We’ve been one big family all season long. There have been a few tough moments, but we got through them and I am so glad I was part of this team. It’s hard to believe it’s over. I’m going to miss this.”
“It’s so crazy,” Buchanan added. “It’s the perfect way to end the season. We worked so hard and I think we deserved to win it. It took a game to get warmed up and we really played our style the final two games. It was nice to finish strong like we did.”
“It’s been exciting and a lot of fun,” Bush said. “Even though I didn’t play a lot, when I did play I was happy. Everyone on this team is good and we became a family. I was always cheering my teammates on. We were close last year and we knew we had to win it this year. I glad we did and I was glad to be a part of it.”
“KARLEY HAS REALLY become more involved in the offense the last month,” Homer coach Brian Fox said. “Taryn was gotten her more involved that way. Havyn really stepped in when we needed her. This was her first varsity season and she did a super job against CBA.
“The twins had been here for four years,” he continued. “Katie played out of her mind tonight. I love to watch her play when she steps up like that. That smile says it all. Alysha did what she always does and Katelyn really came through with some big hits and a nice dig for us. She was more aggressive tonight. They helped lift everyone else up and they really deserved this title.”
In a nip-and-tuck first set, Homer was trailing 21-18 when Alysha Camp fired a solid cross-court hit off a Fulton blocker to get the serve back for the Trojans. Katie Camp served up an ace to pull the team to within one and a long hit by the Red Raiders tied the score at 21-21.
Fulton coach Caroline Richardson called a time-out, but the momentum couldn’t be stopped. A long set by Fulton came to the net and Katie Sinclair tipped the ball back down to give Homer the lead. Another deep cross-court Alysha Camp hit made the score 23-21 before another Red Raider miscue led to set point.
Richardson called another time-out and that only delayed the inevitable. Homer was called for being in the net to give Fulton one point and ace by Kassie McCann pulled Fulton to within 24-23, but Fox called a time-out of his own. The strategy worked as McCann’s next serve went long over the end line and Homer won the set 25-23.
“The first set was all about us adjusting to playing effectively enough, but not to playing aggressively enough,” Fox said. “We wanted to feel our way through that game and see what Fulton was going to do. I wanted us to play off of them. We don’t usually do that, but I’m glad we did this time. It was better than going out there and playing scared.
“We approached today like it was just another match,” he added. “Don’t try to think of it as the sectional final. We came in focused and relaxed.”
THE SECOND SET set was never close.
Brown served for the first five points of the set while sophomore middle hitter Lauren Smith did the damage at the net. a dink over the blockers, a power shot off the blockers and and sweet redirected placement by Smith helped the Trojans roll.
There was another five-point service run by Katie Camp built the Trojan lead to 13-3. The final nail in the coffin for the second set came with Alysha Camp serving. It included a string of three consecutive aces and included a fourth ace as the Trojan advantage grew to 23-5.
“We went back to play our way in that game,” Fox said. “It was the best we have played in a long time. We dug the ball out and quickly got into our passing offense. We got comfortable. They thought we’d play like we did our last match against them because we didn’t have Alysha then. We had all of plays back on offense and defensively we dug out their best hits. That hurt them the most and it is demoralizing to another team to do that. We made them make mistakes.”
Fulton put together an unsuccessful comeback attempt, but senior outside hitter Karley Brown redirect the ball perfectly for the winning point and the Trojans had a two sets to none lead.
The third set remained close until Alysha Camp’s power hit through a Fulton block gave Homer the serve with a 14-11 lead. Again it was her sister who served up the clinching run. Katie had back-to-back aces early, plus a third ace during the eight-point run. Sinclair added a dink and power smash, Alysha Camp a perfect redirect and Smith a winning tip as the title came within three points at 22-11.
Futon got the serve back, but promptly put the ball back into the net to give the ball back to Homer with a 22-12 cushion. With Heath serving, Brown delivered a hit off the Fulton blockers for one point, Alysha Camp pounded her final cross-court hit home and Heath served up the ace for the title.
For sevent-seed Fulton (11-9), it was its fifth loss in seven championship appearances.
STATISTICALLY, HEATH was solid for Homer with 29 assists, two aces, one kill and one block. Alysha Camp added 11 kills, and five digs to her four aces, Katie Camp had 11 digs and four aces, Sinclair (five blocks) and Smith each contributed nine kills, Buchanan added four digs, three kills and one block, Brown had two kills and one dig with Lainee Reed digging out three balls.
For Fulton Kali Kearns had eight assists. Sara Campolieta provided eight digs and three kills, Kirsten Francis six digs, five kills and two aces, Emily Ervin five assists and two kills, Erika Johnson four kills and two digs, plus Elyse Cianfarano three kills.
In the end, it was all about team work and the Homer girls showed it all season long. There are seven underclassmen on this roster and a load of talented players available from the JV squad that Jeremy Cook coached to a 13-5 record. The focus now shifts to next season. A repeat performance isn’t out of the question while the Trojans would love to also three-peat as league champions.
IN OTHER FINALS, Tully and LaFayette will be deciding an overall champion in Class C this week after posting victories on Saturday at J-D. Tully (21-0) beat Cooperstown 23-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 in the Class C-1 final and LaFayette (19-2) topped Dolgeville 25-12, 14-25, 25-19, 25-19 for the Class C-2 title.
In Class B, Marcellus beat South Jefferson 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 25-22 and in Class D New York Mills was a 25-19, 25-21, 17-25, 27-25 winner over Hamilton.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe