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Canastota, Hamilton move ahead in volleyball playoffs

On a productive Thursday night, the Canastota and Hamilton girls volleyball teams, both top seeds, moved closer to Section III titles.

The undefeated Raiders got a brief scare from no. 9 seed Solvay in the Class B quarterfinal round, but still managed a three-game sweep of the Bearcats.

Solvay, who beat Adirondack in the opening round, didn't offer a lot of resistance in the opening game as Canastota blasted away to an easy 25-11 win.

But the second game was far from easy. In fact, Solvay led 24-22 and just needed one more point to draw even. Instead, Calla Bakowski served into the net -- and the Raiders earned three straight points to move ahead 25-24.

From there, both sides missed chances to win the game until, down 27-26, Canastota again saved the game with Tracy O'Hern's kill. A Solvay error again pushed the Raiders ahead -- and Denae Rinaldo used one of her 15 kills to end the game 29-27.

That win carried over into the third game, as Canastota started out 8-2 and breezed to a 25-13 win to complete the sweep, Rinaldo getting two aces to end it.

For the night, Rinaldo had 10 digs to go with her 15 kills as Jessica Patterelli put up 18 assists, 18 digs and eight kills. Tessa Gaglianese had five kills, with Katelyn Rounds and Hallie Chandler each putting up three kills. Rounds also had 11 digs as Liz Lavalee earned six digs.

As this went on, Hamilton, occupying the top seed in Class D, had much the same experience as Canastota in its quarterfinal against no. 8 seed McGraw, battling through the second game but still eliminating the Eagles in three.

Starting the match on a 9-4 run, the Emerald Knights claimed the first game 25-18. McGraw (who knocked out Old Forge in the first round) made it real tight in the second game, but Hamilton pulled it out 27-25, then tore through the third game to complete the sweep 25-13.

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