Niagara Wheatfield wins regional
Volleyball team rallies for victory in four games
Battling a strong Irondequoit effort, the Niagara Wheatfield girls volleyball team came back from a 25-17 first set loss to win three straight and defeat the Eagles 26-24, 25-18, and 25-13 in the Class A Far West Regional matchup at Webster Thomas High School.
After failing to stop the Eagles’ offensive attack in the first set, the Falcons managed to squeak by.
The third and fourth sets were dominated by the Falcons, however, who controlled the lead for a majority of the final sets.
“I told everyone it would be tough,” Falcons coach Brandi Cochran said regarding the team conversation after the first set. “They had the hunger to win and came out ready.”
Cochran said that the team was off its game during the first set, but improved its passing and found a groove in set two. “We served tough in the second set and stepped up the defense and intensity.”
She said that once the Falcons put pressure on the Eagles, their overall play got better and they turned the game around.
“[The Eagles] didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Right side hitter Katie Kostiw was one player who contributed to the turnaround of the Falcons’ play.
With nine kills and six blocks, Kostiw was able to put points on the board while shutting down the Eagles’ attack.
Jenna Sonnenberg, the Falcons’ libero, had 26 digs in the victory.
“Jenna’s always a really solid player,” said Cochran.
“She’s super consistent, and I know I’m her coach, so it may not seem unbiased, but I think she’s one of the best liberos in the state. She can play with anyone.”
Having won the regional, Niagara Wheatfield will travel for the state championships later this month.
In the Class AA regional match, the Orchard Park Quakers lost in four sets to Victor High School of Section V, 25-20, 18-25, 14-25, 21-25.
Kate Hennessy had four kills and four digs in the loss and Hannah Rauh added three kills with two digs.
Despite an eight-point lead in the first set, in which they got the victory, the Quakers could not hold on to their momentum through the next three sets.
It began when the Blue Devils took an 8-7 lead in the second set.
They mounted a six-point advantage, forcing the Quakers to take a timeout, and never looked back, winning the set by seven.
The Blue Devils took an early 5-1 lead in the third set to keep the Quakers from rebounding early.
Victor maintained lead, and then went on a run, winning the set by an 11-point margin.
The Quakers appeared to have regained control for the fourth set, keeping a steady lead throughout, until the Blue Devils grabbed their first lead of the set, making the score 13-12.
The Quakers kept it close, but could not regain the lead, falling to the Blue Devils once more, 25-21, the closest set of the evening.