ESM volleyball builds win streak to five

Spartans gain sweeps over MPH, Pulaski

Following its season-opening defeat to Tully back on Nov. 22, the East Syracuse-Minoa girls volleyball team has gone on a tear.

The Spartans’ fourth consecutive victory came last Monday night, against Pulaski, as it got some resistance in the first and third sets, but still managed to sweep the Blue Devils 25-21, 25-11, 25-22.

Rachel Aird again paced ESM’s front line, picking up nine kills, while Halle Benjack earned five kills to go with three aces. Amanda Canorro added three kills as Rachel Aird earned nine assists.

Then the Spartans took on Manlius-Pebble Hill on Thursday night and made it five matches in a row, struggling in the first set, but going on to handle the Trojans 25-22, 25-7, 25-15.

Sam Lobello produced 10 assists and five aces, her passes going to Aird, who had five kills, and Canorro, who contributed four kills. Aird, Benjack, Nina Pugonga and Nicole Unislawski each earned a pair of aces.

On MPH’s side, Leandrah Shelmidine gained five kills and two blocks, while Anni Sahlberg had three aces and four kills. Jessica Gavigan added two assists and two digs.

As this went on, Christian Brothers Academy faced a rougher road. The Brothers went to Tully last Tuesday night and never could get settled in a 25-18, 25-24, 25-12 defeat to the Black Knights.

Ryan Congel and Christine Picciott each had four kills, while Morgan Riley managed six digs. Lily Durkin and Annie Carhart both finished with five digs as Sarah Roberts and Lauren DeLorenzo had four assists apiece. Hannah Leva (17 assists) and Mackenzie Murphy (10 kills) led Tully’s efforts.

More frustration followed on Wednesday, where CBA was close to winning a pair of sets against visiting Onondaga, but could not grab either of them and lost to the Tigers 27-25, 25-19, 26-24.

Congel had four kills as DeLorenzo managed five assists. Riley (seven digs) and Lily Durkin (six digs) helped on the defensive end. For OCS, Ashley Radio had 22 assists, passing it to Jenna Bygall and Lindsay Wachna, who had eight kills apiece.

MPH, up against rival Faith Heritage, also lost in three sets last Tuesday night, beaten by the Saints 25-13, 25-7, 25-14. Gavigan led the Trojans with nine assists and two aces, with Shelmidine and Rowan Johnson each earning three kills. Sahlberg had four digs. Faith’s Shelby Manchester managed 11 aces as Emily Cooper (six aces, four kills) and Holly Pietra (five aces, five kills).

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