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December 6, 2011

 

Streaking Trojans becoming popular

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

While getting off to a strong start to this volleyball season, Homer Central is gaining fan support at the same time.
The Trojans rolled to a three-set 25-12, 25-16, 25-17 sweep of visiting Chittenango on Monday night before a nearly-filled gymnasium to improve to a perfect 3-0 in OHSL play. Dating back to last season, that concluded with a Section 3 tournament title, Homer is riding a 21-match winning streak.
“Everyone is doing their part and finding their role,” Homer coach Brian Fox said of this team’s fast start. “We have some new faces filling in for those who left last year. We are still finding those roles.
“Lianee Reed has done an excellent job so far,” he added. “She has really put her heart and soul into it and you can see the results. Jessica Walter, Jessica Mitchell, Logan McEvoy, Emily Cottrell, they all have a role and they are all contributing. There is no one person to stop. Everyone knows about Katie Sinclair, but we are becoming more than a team with one person to stop. We are spreading the ball around.”
The emergence of the “Trojan Terror” — a growing group of Homer students and athletes providing animated support from the bleachers — has been a boost, too. That group, donning white shirts with an ‘H’ on the front and ‘The Trojan Terror’ on the back, were in full vocal support of the Homer players. They, along with a large number of parents and both Trojan modified volleyball teams, cheered the Trojan spikers to victory.
“They’re all great,” Homer’s Sinclair of the support. “It’s nice to have so many fans. During my four years, we haven’t had that many people at a game. It gets us pumped up to have them here and cheering for us We are going to other games to support those teams and it’s nice we are all one big family supporting each other here at Homer. It’s really exciting.”
“The Trojan Terrors are really awesome,” added Homer’s Taryn Heath. “It is great having the support and to see so many students and people at our games.”
“It is an amazing thing,” Fox said. “I was talking to (Athletic Director) Mike Carboine before the game and saying how we had about 10 people in the stands when I started coaching. It’s nice to have a program that has been built to this level. Everyone is the school seems to be involved. The guys support the girls, the girls support the guys. Volleyball has become big in Homer. It’s a big credit to the girls.”
SINCLAIR DELIVERED the first of her nine kills for the Trojans to record the first point of the match. Junior outside hitter Walter, senior middle hitter Sinclair and junior right side hitter McEvoy put the ball in ball from the service line and teammates Lauren Smith, Heath and others did the rest as Homer raced to a 14-5 lead in that first set. Chittenango (0-3) could not get any closer as Homer posted the 13-point win in the first set.
With senior setter Heath serving to open the second set, it was Sinclair providing the first point again with a strong kill. Back-to-back aces by Sinclair gave the Trojans a 7-3 advantage as the visiting Bears hung close. With Rose Mahshie serving, teammate Kayleigh Koegel had a nice tipped ball for the winner to keep the Bears close at 19-14.
With a combination of strong hits by junior middle hitter Smith and misplays, Homer clung to a 22-16 lead late in the set. Junior libero Reed stepped up at the service line. Her ace set up set point and a tip redirected ball by Sinclair clinched the second set 25-16.
The third set would be the best for Chittenango, but the end result was the completion of a Trojan sweep.
Homer battled back from a 9-5 deficit to pull even at 9-9 when Smith and Heath combined for a blockat the net. After the Bears’ timeout, Mitchell served up an ace and Homer was back in the lead for good. Reed’s ace improved the Homer advantage to five points, 15-10. Heath served during a three-point Trojan run and her ace gave the home team a 19-11 lead.
A lunging return of a low ball by Walter put Homer ahead 23-13 lead, and though the Bears pulled to within 24-16 Heath produced the final poit to finish off the sweep.
Heath collected 20 assists, three aces and two kills while Sinclair had four aces, three digs and one block to go with her nine kills. Walter provided seven digs and five kills, Mitchell added five kills and two digs, Smith had three kills, Reed 11 digs and two aces, Cottrell two digs and McEvoy two aces, two kills and two digs.
Mahshie finished with five kills and three assists to lead Chittenango. Emily Gibbons added five assists and two kills, Allyssa Mroczek recorded four kills and Scheido chipped in with three kills.
“I AM REALLY excited because this is a totally different team this year,” Sinclair said. “Everyone is doing a really great job and I’m excited to see how far we can go this year. We get each other pumped up before the game. Everyone is fighting for the ball and not letting it hit the floor. Everyone is enthusiastic and ready to go.”
“We really do all get along so well,” Heath added of the team’s chemistry. “We believe in hustling after every ball and trying to win every point by not letting the ball hit the floor.”
“The girls had an idea of what was going on,” Fox said of the winning streak. “Nobody really wanted to talk about it. Now that it is out there, it is helping to drive them. We know all good things must come to an end, but it doesn’t have to be this year.
The big thing is that it’s not our main goal,” he added. “Our goals are league first, sectionals second. Whatever the record ends up, it ends up.”
Homer travels to Cortland High Friday, with JV action starting at 5:30 p.m.
HOMER JVS pulled out a 25-17, 22-25, 25-22 win over Chittenango in the prelim.
Hannah McEvoy led Homer (2-1) with nine kills, two aces, and two digs. Mikayla McNeill added four kills, three aces and two assists while Tanya Priadoun delivered 10 assists, five kills, two aces and two blocks.
“We are a very young team,” Homer coach Jeremy Cook said. “We are coming along. It was nice to grind out a win. That was a good thing for us tonight.”

 

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