VVS boys volleyball goes 8-2 at opening tourney

As a year ended, the Vernon Verona Sherrill boys volleyball team began its latest adventure, rising to second place ast the host of Wednesday's "Spiking In the New Year" Tournament.

Overall, six teams were in the tournament, and the Red Devils swept past each of them -- except Sauquoit Valley, as the Indians' 9-1 mark edged VVS (8-2) for the top spot.

Using a round-robin format with two games per opponent, VVS started with a 25-10, 25-12 romp of Ilion, then did much the same thing to handle Herkimer 25-13, 25-9.

Then came the pivotal match against Sauquoit. A series of runs allowed the Indians to push ahead 15-8, and VVS never got close again in a 25-18 defeat.

Trying to salvage a split, the Red Devils raced out to a 7-1 lead in the second game before Sauquoit, chipping away, caught up at 15-15, then inched in front. A series of exchanges followed until, at 24-24, the Indians regained serve and closed out the game 26-24.

From that point forward, VVS did not lose a game. It fought past Chittenango 25-22, 25-19, then closed out the day with a 25-9, 25-15 romp over Cobleskill.

VVS teammates Drew Foster, with 28 kills, and Tyler Curtis, with 15 kills, both made the All-Tournament team. Aaron Owens (17 kills) and Josh Masi (16 kills, eight blocks) also worked on the front line.

On the Red Devils' back line, Cole Barbano and Jordan Loboda split duties. Barbano finished with 40 assists, with Loboda close behind as he got 34 assists.

Chittenango went 4-6 in the tournament, losing to VVS and Sauquoit (25-16, 25-17), splitting with Herkimer and Cobleskill and sweeping Ilion 25-7, 25-19. Caleb Mannix was the Bears' representative on the All-Tournament team. Sauquoit's John Marchione took home tournament MVP honors.

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