Oneida girls volleyball moves to Class A semis

As the no. 4 seed in the Section III Class A playoffs, the Oneida girls volleyball team has every reason to think it can claim its first championship since 2007.

In Thursday night's Class A quarterfinals, the Indians entered the fray by hosting no. 5 seed Watertown in its Class A quarterfinal -- and earned a three-game sweep over the Cyclones.

Having won the opening game 25-16, the Indians had to rally in the second game from a 20-13 deficit, doing so with an 11-2 run. Though it squandered two different game points, at 24-24 Oneida got the serve back and Rachael Kline's kill finished off the game, 26-24.

Once that was done, Oneida handled the Cyclones 25-17 in the third game. Kline finished with 15 kills, seven blocks and seven digs, while Paige Pendleton had eight kills. Melissa Murawski (13 assists) and Shannon Dowling (12 assists, six digs) split back-line duties as Clare Henry had 12 digs and Ann DuChene earned eight digs. Mary Sheridan contributed six digs.

Meanwhile, Chittenango, the no. 7 seed, saw its post-season run end Saturday against no. 2 seed Homer in another Class A quarterfinal.

The Trojans would beat the Bears for a third time this season 25-13, 25-17, 25-12, despite Hayley Calarco's eight assists. Rose Mashie had four kills and four assists as Brittney Tirabassi got five kills. Rachel Perry (14 kills) and Taryn Heath (33 assists) led Homer along.

In the Class A semifinals Wednesday at Chittenango, Oneida would face no. 8 seed Cortland, who stunned top seed New Hartford in a five-game quarterfinal classic. The final is Saturday at Jamesville-DeWitt, with the Indians hoping to meet Homer or Fulton for the title.

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