Maybe some more important victories are up ahead for the Cicero-North Syracuse boys volleyball team, but none might prove more exciting than last Tuesday night’s rally from a two-set deficit to beat Oswego in five sets.
Though the Northstars had topped the Buccaneers back on Sept. 13, it took four sets, and Oswego, who went on to win its next seven in a row, emerged from that match with a belief that it could do better when the two sides met again.
The first two sets bore this out. With a home crowd to back them, the Bucs traded points with C-NS in each of those sets, and at the critical moments gained serve to pull them out by narrow 26-24 and 27-25 margins.
Facing its biggest challenge against a local opponent this fall, the Northstars claimed the third set 25-21. Then an epic fourth set followed, with Oswego getting numerous chances to close out the match but not able to do so.
Finally, at 29-29, C-NS gained the serve and kept it to win, 31-29, forcing a fifth-set race to 15 points. With all of the momentum, the Northstars won that final set 15-10.
Through it all, Tristen Cummings came up with 42 assists, adding eight kills and four blocks. Up front, Josh Bigford put away 27 kills, with Louis D’Agostino getting nine kills as Kyle Alberici and Trent Caviness each got eight kills, Caviness adding seven assists. Dylan Gesser had eight digs.
For the Bucs, Jason Proud managed 46 assists, his passes often going to Kyle Kon, who had 20 kills and five aces, and Zach Crossman, who got 17 kills. Noah Davis and Derek Fitzsimmons had six kills apiece as Fitzsimmons added six blocks.
It was easier for C-NS in Thursday’s 25-8, 25-7, 25-16 sweep over Syracuse City. Bigford got 13 kills, with Caviness contributing 20 assists and four aces. Alberici and Aidan Longley had three kills apiece.
So began a stretch of three matches in as many nights, all wins. C-NS swept Midlakes 25-18, 25-12, 25-23 on Friday and then, against Canisius on Saturday afternoon, pulled out a close 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22 decision over the Crusaders.
Every set was close against Canisius, but the Northstars earned most of the key points. Cummings getting 35 assists and 10 digs as Bigford had 18 kills and 10 digs, with Caviness adding 12 kills, 15 digs, five assists and three blocks. Gesser had six digs as D’Agostino earned six kills and four digs.
Capping this off was the Northstars’ victory in the Gold division of the Williamsville South Tournament in suburban Buffalo on Sunday, where in round-robin play C-NS won five of six sets, then beat Cheektowaga in the semifinals before a tough 25-22, 21-25, 17-15 win over Maryvale in the finals. Bigford was named tournament MVP, while Alberici was named to the All-Tournament team.
Back on Tuesday night, Liverpool’s boys volleyball team lost in three sets to Central Square 25-15, 25-14, 25-18. Vincent Lee had eight assists, with Connor Jones picking up four kills and three blocks as Jagger Alberici earned seven digs. Cooper Colesante led the Redhawks with 24 assists.