Knowing what had happened the week before, the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill girls volleyball team did not want to be the latest Tri-Valley League team knocked off by East Syracuse-Minoa in the Section III Class A playoffs.
But the no. 8 seed Spartans did not care about the no. 5 seed Red Devils' sentiments, for it survived a furious comeback and beat VVS in five games during last Tuesday night's Class A semifinals at Chittenango High School.
To this point, ESM had eliminated Oneida and top-seed New Hartford, coming from two games down in the latter of these matches. It was a trend VVS nearly reversed.
First, though, the Red Devils had to suffer through two erratic games. In the middle of the opener, VVS went on an 18-6 run to go in front, but ESM started 8-1, then closed with an 11-1 outburst to take that first game 25-20.
Again, the Spartans' strong serves hurt VVS in the second game, leading to a 25-21 defeat, and a quick exit seemed inevitable.
Just as quickly, though, the Red Devils turned it around, taking over in the middle of a close third game by going on a 6-1 run to break a 13-13 tie.
VVS didn't get caught, and won that game 25-21 to stay on the court. The Red Devils improved in the fourth game, never trailing once on its way to a 25-20 win to even the match at two games apiece.
However, ESM didn't get fazed. It broke out of a 6-6 tie in the final game with four straight points, and the Red Devils never caught up, falling 25-18 as its season came to an end.