Feb 23, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
If the Oneida girls volleyball team wanted to orchestrate a perfect ending to the era of twin sisters Aubrey and Brianna Bobo, it would have involved close competition, scintillating points, and a whole lot of power on display.
By those high standards, the Indians’ four-game victory over Fulton in last Wednesday’s Section III Class A championship match at Jamesville-DeWitt High School was far from a masterpiece, with the Red Raiders’ mistakes as much a factor in the outcome as anything else.
Still, Oneida would take the result. Prior to the Bobos’ rise to prominence, the Indians had gone 27 years without a sectional title. As freshmen, they helped Oneida end that drought in Class B-1, then led the team to another title in 2006 at Fulton’s expense in a come-from-behind, five-game effort.
Now Oneida and Fulton were together one more time, in that same J-D gym, knowing that, with Section VII dropping out of a possible regional playoff, this would be the last match of the season — championship or bust.
More than a week had passed since Oneida had dismissed rival V-V-S in the Class A semifinals. The ensuing Valentine’s Day snowstorm pushed the rest of the schedule back, making the Indians wait longer for Fulton to emerge from the other half of the tournament bracket.
From the start, the Raiders were generous. A series of wide or long hits in the opening game allowed Oneida to shake off any possible rust and pull well out in front. Aubrey Bobo started displaying her power late in the game as the Indians prevailed, 25-16, and pulled out in front.
Aubrey continued to put away powerful kills early in the second game. But up 5-1, the Indians started to relax, and Fulton started its own run of lethal serves to catch up. At 18-18, the Raiders pulled out in front and stayed there, winning 25-20 to square the match at one game apiece.
Serving became a big factor in the third game. Fulton couldn’t put one inside the lines, and Oneida always put it in play, leading to a lopsided affair where, by a score of 25-10, the Indians took a 2-1 lead in games.
Though the fourth game was closer, with eight different ties, the Indians stayed patient. At 15-15, Oneida closed like a champion would, winning 10 of the last 11 points to clinch a second consecutive sectional title with a 25-16 decision.
In her last match with the Indians, Brianne Bobo had nine kills. More importantly, she had 27 successful serves in a row, completing a varsity career where none of her 1,501 serves ever went out, an extraordinary feat.
When she got to serve, Aubrey also was perfect, putting all 18 in play to go with the 16 kills she earned at the net. Hannah Barley helped out with six kills, while Sarah Jones set up points with her 12 assists.
In all, five seniors will depart after this 22-1 season, with Tiffany Conboy, Rachel Kline and Rachel Donaldson joining the Bobos in this departure. However, Jones, Barley, Katie Sheridan and libero Kelly Infarinato will come back next winter to try and keep Oneida at the top.