Situated on opposite ends of the Section III Class A playoff bracket, the Oneida and Chittenango girls volleyball teams faced varying challenges.
For the Indians, it was holding up to the role of favorite, something it would deal with as the no. 3 seed when it met no. 6 seed Jamesville-DeWitt in Thursday night's quarterfinal round.
Oneida handled its quite well, taking four games to eliminate the Red Rams and advance to this week's semifinal round, with the finals taking place on Saturday at J-D's gym.
At first, it looked quite simple, as the Indians dominated the Rams 25-13, in the first game. J-D shook that off, though, and claimed the second game 25-20 to pull even.
In the pivotal third game, the Rams inched ahead, 25-24, and had game point to move in front, only to serve it into the net. Given a huge break, the Indians gave the ball to Ann DuChene, who notched back-to-back aces to win the game 27-25.
They traded points in the fourth game, and were still tied 17-17 when Paige Pendleton and Lena Reginelli notched back-to-back kills. Two more points followed and, ahead 21-17, the Indians had the cushion it needed to close out J-D 25-22.
Overall, Carley Parker had 15 kills and eight digs, with Pendleton contributing 12 kills and six blocks. Reginelli and Candra Connelly each got six kills as DuChene added five aces and five digs. Shannon Dowling notched 25 assists and Melissa Murawski added 16 assists.
Chittenango, meanwhile, drew the no. 8 seed and was home for last Wednesday's opening-round match against no. 9 seed Cortland. It proved exciting and competitive, but the Bears were eliminated in four games by the Purple Tigers.
The opening game proved quite pivotal. Both sides had multiple chances to win it until, at 29-29, Cortland regained the serve and, with the game point, put it away 31-29.