December 04 , 2007


Trojans pushed to limit by Purple Tigers


Dan DePerno/contributing photographer
Homer Central’s Katie Wick soars to spike the ball over Cortland High blocker Julie Bush (25) as Homer’s Rachel Perry (5) and Cortland’s Alissa Claiser (17) look on. Wick led Trojans to victory over five games.

Staff Writer

Not even blowing snow and howling winds could keep neighboring rivals Cortland High and Homer Central from meeting their appointed volleyball clash Monday night.
The visiting Purple Tigers were still looking for their first win of the season while the Trojans were looking to stay above the .500 mark in OHSL Freedom Division play. Cortland played like anything other than a winless team and Homer needed to dig down to find all the heart and desire it could before prevailing 25-21, 27-29, 16-25, 25-21, 25-20 in a grueling five-game marathon.
In the end, there really were no losers as the spectators gave both teams a big hand after the two-plus hour battle.
“It was great,” said Homer senior Shannan Keefe of the hard-fought win. “Our team shows a lot of heart and that was what pulled us through in the end.”
Keefe had 10 digs, five kills and three point blocks for the Trojans, who improve to 3-1 in the Freedom Division and 3-2 overall. Junior Katie Wick added 21 more kills to her all-time school record (531) to go with 13 digs. McKenna Riley had a solid game as the junior had 36 assists, nine digs and two kills while senior Jess Brown was steady with six digs, six kills, three assists and two aces.
“I don’t think we came out ready to play in the beginning of the match,” said Wick, the powerful hitter for the Trojans. “We did not have the intensity we needed, but we picked it up. We really pulled together as a team in the end and did pretty well.”
Those comments were echoed by Trojan coach Brian Fox.
“You need to be proud of your team when they show that kind of heart,” he said. “I think maybe the girls did come into the match a little cocky, but we did show a lot of heart and finished the match strong.
“Cortland played one heck of a match,” Fox added. “We played them in the Thanksgiving Tournament and knew they did not have all their players then and the games were not really close. Seeing what they did tonight, I was very impressed. There was a lot of improvement for this early in the season.”
Cortland High coach Mary Lou Bordwell was very pleased as she had all, but one player ready to go for the first time this season.
“I thought my team played pretty well tonight,” said Bordwell. “We got our hands on a lot of hits. We have a few little things to work on, like squaring our shoulders more, but I’m happy with how we played. Of course I would have liked a win, but this was a good effort. I am happy.
“It was good to get Casey Marks back,” she continued. “She got a late start because of the soccer team doing so well and winning sectionals. This was just her second match of the season.”
MARKS, A JUNIOR, had eight kills and twice she blocked hard hits by Wick. Senior captain Amanda Cheetham added 24 assists and two aces to the Cortland (0-4 league and overall) while classmate Alissa Claiser delivered nine kills, five aces and two assists. Also contributing were senior Lisa Frare (five kills, three aces), junior Katie Owens (four kills) and sophomore Sarah Curtis (three point blocks and two kills).
The key factors in the Homer victory may well have come for two of the younger players. Freshman Alysha Camp had 11 digs, 10 kills and five aces while sophomore Rachel Perry delivered 13 digs, six kills and three aces.
The decisive fifth game really mirrored the first four games as both teams looked for the big opening to control the momentum. Homer took the first and fourth games while Cortland rallied to win the extended second game and held a two games to one lead after a solid third game effort.
The Trojans broke a 3-3 tie in the decisive game and capitalized on a couple of Cortland mistakes for a 5-3 lead, but a kill by Owens and an ace from Curtis knotted the score at 8-8. A nice drop shot an open space by Marks put the Purple Tigers ahead 9-8, but the Trojans got the serve back deadlocked at 9-9.
With Riley serving, the home team built a 12-9 advantage, capped by a service ace. Homer would maintain that two to three-point margin until the later stages. A service ace by Frare pulled Cortland to within 16-15, but Wick countered with a powerful kill. A Trojan miscue closed the gap to 17-16, but a nice cross-court hit and kill by Camp allowed Homer to open a 20-16 lead. Cortland never got real close after that and the Trojans had the decisive fifth-game victory and the match.
It was a pair of Camp aces that gave Homer the 25-21 win in game four. In fact, it was a Wick ace and Camp solid hit that gave Homer the 25-21 in game one.
GAME TWO WAS the turning point that Cortland needed as the Purple Tigers rallied from a 20-11 deficit. The biggest point spurt came when Frare went to the service line trailing 23-19. The senior put the ball in play and her teammates kept battling to knot the score at 23-23. The game swung back and forth until a kill by Marks evened things at 27-27. Two Trojans mistakes followed as Claiser was serving and Cortland was a 29-27 winner and the match was even a one game each.
Game three saw another Purple Tiger rally from a 15-9 deficit. Curtis got the serve from Cortland trailing 15-10, but she never surrendered the serve until Tigers enjoyed a 19-16 advantage. Claiser had one ace while Marks added a point block and kill during the run. Homer never recovered and two aces by Clasier closed out the 25-16 win in the game. The Trojans did come back in the next two games for the win.
Homer will return to Freedom Division action Friday as the Trojans travel to Fulton. JV action will begin at 5:30 p.m. CHS is idle until a visit to Jamesville-DeWitt this coming Monday.
CORTLAND JVs were 25-21, 25-12 winners over Homer to open the evening. The two teams did play the third game, won by Home r(2-3) 25-16, but the earlier sweep gave Cortland (2-2) the match win.
Josie Roberts had 12 assists and four aces to lead the Purple Tiger JVs while Alexa Barber added 12 assists as well. Kelsey Wetherell chipped in with 10 assists and Keri Brownrigg had nine assists with six kills and seven assist coming from Kaylee Gebhardt.
Nichole Sanford led the way for Homer with seven assists and two aces. Deanne Stafford added four kills, Brianna Lewis three aces and Cayla Hartnett two kills.




Goal-scoring binge for Mite squads

The two Cortland Youth Hockey Mite teams went a combined five-for-five in both wins and double-figure goal scoring over the weekend.
The Mite Travel squad beat Onondaga 11-2 and Salmon River 12-1 Saturday, both on the road, and crushed visiting Fulton 21-0 on Sunday. The Mite Select team scored an 11-2 win over host Elmira Saturday and rolled over visiting Auburn 12-4 on Sunday.
Jackson Brazo led the way against Onondaga with three goals, while Ben Gravel had two goals and two assists, Cooper Swartout two goals and one assist, Jared Berry a goal and two assists, and Jayson Wojcinski, Mike Turk and Matt Pelowski one goal each. No goalie stats were reported.
Pelowski scored five times and added an assist against Salmon River, while Dylan Cooper had two goals and an assist, Turk two goals, Maggie Walsh and Emily Krebs a goal and an assists apiece and Berry one goal. Devin Baylor and P.J. Shager combined in goal to make 12 saves.
Cooper scored seven goals and assisted on three others against Fulton, while Wojcinski had three goals and two assists, Berry three goals and an assist and Brazo three goals. In addition, Turk scored twice, Maggie Walsh had a goal and an assist and Krebs and Pelowski scored once each.
Sammy Robbins had three goals and an assist against Elmira, complemented by Jon Frederick and Matt Gombas with two goals and an assist apiece. Hayley Tasselmyer had a goal and an assist while Trevor Jubran, Turner Pomeroy and Toby Diaz scored once each. Zachary Wilhoit made six saves in the winners’ nets.
Gombas scored four goals while Robbins again notched three goals and an assist against Auburn. Frederick had two goals and an assist, Tasselmyer a goal and an assist and Pomeroy and Jubran one goal each. Wilhoit made 13 saves.
Cortland won twice at home over the weekend, 6-1 over Center State on Saturday and 3-0 over Binghamton on Sunday. Nick Burton scored twice against center State, while Jordan Zehr had a goal and an assist and Joel Potter, Dakota Baylor and Brad Sciera one goal apiece. Goalie Zach Randall made 15 saves.
Jared Levine stopped 14 shots for the shutout against Binghamton, while Danny Turk, Burton and Zehr scored once each.
The Homer Logging/Rick & Rich Towing/Economy Paving team won both of its games. In a 6-1 home win over Center State on Saturday, Sydney Sherman scored twice while John Burhans, Julia Brazo and Sean Sullivan had a goal and an assist apiece and Mike May scored once. Goalie Gage Eldred made 14 saves.
Matt May and Brian Ordway scored once each in a 2-1 Sunday win at center State, Eldred turning aside 12 more shots.
The Barden Building Solutions/Action Auto team lost 5-1 Saturday against visiting Camillus I. Nick Troup had the lone goal, and Ryan Gabriel stopped 23 shots in the hosts’ nets.




Stingers pushed by host Norwich

NORWICH — This early season swimming rematch tested the Cortland YMCA Stingers on Saturday.
Against the host Norwich Dolphins, the Stingers split the 10 age groups contested and escaped with a narrow 372-330 point edge in the dual meet. The home pool advantage and the some additional Dolphins who had missed last month’s Cortland victory over Norwich made this meet much tougher.
“The kids swam really well after a two-week layoff from competition for the Thanksgiving break,” said Coach Mike Falls after the Class B (13-14) girls, Class B boys, Class C (11-12) boys, Class D (9-10) girls and the Class E (8-and-Under) boys earn victories for the Stingers.
“We had over 90 personal best times recorded,” added Falls. “It was a great meet to prepare us for what is coming this weekend — our most competitive and challenging meet of the season against Auburn. If the kids step it up just a notch this coming weekend we have a good chance of winning several age groups.”
Saturday’s meet against the Stingrays will be in Auburn, scheduled to get underway at noon.