December 10, 2011


Loud and quick

Homer adds to lengthy winning streak sweeping CHS at raucous Shafer Gym


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Jessica Mitchell splits Cortland High defenders Katie Dovi (1) and Marrisa Travis (13) during Friday’s OHSL match at Shafer Gym. Visiting Homer won in straight sets.

Staff Writer

It was the loudest volleyball match either coach could remember. On the other hand, it didn’t last long.
With the white-shirted Trojan Terror and the Cortland Crazies, in neon yellow shirts, roaring and chanting at their respective teams — and each other — throughout the Shafer Gym match, Homer Central ran its winning streak to 22 matches Friday night by making short work of the Purple Tigers by scores of 25-13, 25-11 and 25-14.
“I don’t know about easy,” Trojans coach Brian Fox, his defending Section 3 Class A champions now 4-0 in the OHSL and overall, said after the match. “We knew they were going to come out and play their best, but I felt all along that if we did what we needed to do we’d be OK. Our game is is to put the other team on defense, take the free balls they give us and run those into our offense, turn that defense into offense.
“Both sides were noisy. Fortunately we have big crowds at home so we’re used to that, but not both sides. It was a great atmosphere, and good for us because we’re playing at Oneida next week (Wednesday) and they’re just like that, so it’s good before we go up there,” added Fox.
“We made 24 hitting errors tonight and had eight kills,” an obviously disappointed Cortland coach Cheri Olson said after her team had lost for the first time in three OHSL matches this season. “We gave them a whole game on hitting errors. I don’t want to take away from their skills, but you can’t do that against a good team, any team, and win. Homer is a good team, a team to be respected, but I know they’ve never seen our team. In the rivalry they’re dominating us right now in volleyball, like Cortland does in basketball. I have to change our thinking.
“We have good, solid players; we’ll chalk this up to it not being our night. I love this team; they’re awesome girls. For the rest of the season we have to try to turn them into tigers.”
The Trojans got off to a fast start in the match, scoring 12 of the first 13 points in the first game, and never let up. They scored the first eight points of the second game and, after Cortland had taken an early 2-0 lead in the third game, ran off the next seven points, and 10 of the next 12, to take control and close in on the victory.
Senior middle hitter Katie Sinclair was a force for Homer with nine kills, five aces, four blocks and two digs. Senior setter Taryn Heath had 19 assists, five aces, two kills and a dig, while senior outside hitter Jessica Mitchell finished with six kills, a block and a dig. In addition, the balanced Trojan success saw junior middle hitter Lauren Smith with four kills and a block, libero Lainee Reed with six digs and an assist, junior outside hitter Jessica Walter with three digs, a kill and an ace and freshman libero Emily Cottrell with four digs.
“It’s hard to single out individuals. It was a complete team effort,” Fox said.
“I’d been waiting for this match all week,” Sinclair said with a smile. “We were all pumped up, and used the adrenaline to our advantage. It helped. We all worked hard, hit the floor and it gave us options with what we wanted to do.
“This is and will be the loudest match I’ve been in; it was hard to hear your teammates, but it also helped because it got us more pumped. The Trojan Terror is so supportive. Beating Cortland is definitely a boost; hopefully it’s going to carry into next week.”
Senior setter Jenna Gregory had eight assists, six digs, a kill and an ace for the Purple Tigers. Senior middle blocker Zakarra Butts had two kills, an ace, a block and a dig, senior outside hitter Maddie Dorward two kills and two digs, senior right side Marissa Travis two kills and an ace and junior middle blocker Katie Dovi a kill, an ace and a block.
“We’ve worked hard on talking, being loud and calling the ball,” Olson said. “We came here and the girls couldn’t hear me or each other. It had to be frustrating. But the girls were beyond excited. A Friday night home game, with both groups (of supporters) — the kids were beyond pumped.
“This was the noisiest it’s been since I’ve been coaching,” she added, Olson in her fourth year with the varsity. “Our school is really supportive of its teams. The kids who don’t play sports buy the T-shirts and come to the games. Their support feels awesome.”
In addressing his team’s string of victories, Fox noted that “I think the girls have a great time as a team, and the streak isn’t in their minds. We continue to focus on the sectional finals, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get there.”
Homer was to compete in the South Lewis Tournament today before visiting Hannibal on Monday in a league match and Oneida on Wednesday in the aforementioned non-leaguer, the junior varsities getting things started at 5:30 p.m. both nights. Cortland visits Jordan-Elbridge Monday and hosts Syracuse CBA this Friday, both matches also preceded by 5:30 p.m. JV contests.
HOMER JVs are now 3-1 after beating Cortland 25-17 and 25-13 before the hosts won a third game 25-23. Eighth-grade outside hitter Kim Dieroff had five aces, a kill and three digs for the Trojans, while freshman setter Tanya Priadoun had three kills, two aces, seven assists and a dig and sophomore outside hitter Hannah McEvoy three kills, an ace and three digs.
No individual statistics were kept for the Cortland JVs, who fell to 2-1.


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