Jan 11, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Remaining unbeaten in any sport is not easy, for the longer it goes, the more an opponent wants to knock them off, adding to the intensity and pressure.
The Canastota girls volleyball team is aware of this, and got a great challenge from 10-1 Mount Markham last Thursday night before beating the Mustangs in four games to move its mark to 12-0.
This match, the makeup of a Dec. 12 contest postponed by winter snows, proved to be one of the closest calls of the season, because Mount Markham had every intention of putting Canastota away in the early going.
Mount Markham beat Canastota 25-19 in the opening game and put even more heat on the Raiders by claiming a 6-0 lead to start the second game.
Enter Elaine Peters. After the Raiders got on the board, Peters got five consecutive points off her serve, and then inched in front during a tense exchange that lasted the rest of the second game. By a 25-22 margin, Canastota got even in games, 1-1.
That back-and-forth tangent continued into the third game, but it had the exact same ending as Canastota prevailed 25-22 to take a 2-1 edge.
And in the fourth game, just when it seemed like the Raiders had put it away, it nearly gave it all back. Up 21-9 at one point (propelled again by Peters’ serves), Canastota slowly worked it to match point at 24-17, only to have Mount Markham make six straight saves before a serve into the net ended it 25-23 — making everyone on Canastota’s side breathe again.
Peters took 30 serves and got them all in, earning three aces as Jessica Patterelli got six kills, nine assists and eight digs. Denae Rinaldo and Courtney Kahler matched Patterelli with six kills apiece. Jeana Farruggia led Mount Markham with 24 kills, 14 digs and six blocks.
Prior to that, the Raiders took on a solid foe in Morrisville-Eaton last Monday night and swept past the Warriors in three games.
Consistent in the early going, the Raiders took the opening game 25-18 and the second game 25-20. But Canastota didn’t let up, roaring past M-E 25-13 in the third game.
Patterelli, in addition to her 22 assists, helped the front line with six kills. Rinaldo led the Raiders with 12 kills, as Kahler gained seven kills. Sarah Willis helped Patterelli on the back line with six assists.
In defeat, the Warriors saw Danica Mosher earn six kills. Erin O’Hara had seven assists and two kills, while Veronica Metz had four assists, three aces and two kills.
M-E then took a tough five-game defeat on Wednesday night to the Westmoreland Bulldogs.
Beaten in the opening game 27-25, the Warriors recovered to take the next two games by margins of 25-16 and 25-21. Westmoreland would have the last surge, though, winning the fourth game 25-21 and the decisive fifth game 25-18.
Metz accumulated 17 kills, 11 assists, five aces and eight digs, with Mosher adding 10 kills and seven digs and O’Hara got 22 assists, nine kills and five digs. Corinne Matusczak had 18 digs, with Chelsey Haflett earning 15 digs and four aces.
Meanwhile, Canastota was busy sweeping Sherburne-Earlville 25-17, 25-12, 25-12. Patterelli earned 13 assists and eight aces, while Rinaldo earned four kills and Larissa Katuzba finished with five aces.
The Raiders meet Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, Waterville and Oneida this week before a rematch with Mount Markham at Laidlaw Gymnasium Friday night.
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