Right when it was absolutely required, the Chittenango boys volleyball team demonstrated the character and competitive fire built up over a winter full of close contests.
The Bears rallied for a five-set victory over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Thursday night at Canastota High School, and by doing so, won the Section III Class B winter championship, joining its girls counterparts by claiming the season’s ultimate prize.
All told, it’s Chittenango’s third sectional title in four years, but neither of the previous two were as difficult to attain as this one.
VVS pulled out a close opening set 25-22, and then claimed the third set by that same margin to regain the lead after the Bears rolled through the second set 25-15.
Yet as the match went on, Chittenango’s quality of play improved. What should have proved a nervous fourth set instead finished 25-17 in the Bears’ favor.
And the final set, a race to 15, was even more lopsided as Chittenango finished off the Red Devils 15-5. It was the fifth time the Bears had gone to a fifth set this season, including one where it lost to VVS on Jan. 17.
Keith Spurgeon, earning 14 kills, led a well-balanced Chittenango front line where Nick Callahan and Austin Strickler each produced 10 kills, Callahan adding four aces and five digs as Spurgeon also got five digs. Zephaniah Scott earned three kills and four blocks.
Tom McIntosh finished with 24 assists, seven digs and three aces, while Noah Watson got 14 assists. Defensively, Caleb Barnard and Seth Kimball were both outstanding, Barnard earning 23 digs and Kimball adding 22 digs. Griffin Furco got eight digs.
Getting to this match required the Bears (11-8) to work past Oneida Tuesday night, which it did without too much difficulty as Chittenango swept the Indians 25-20, 25-16, 25-23.
Callahan earned nine kills, with Strickler getting seven kills as Scott and Kimball had three kills apiece. McIntosh picked up 12 assists and Watson added 11 assists as Barnard got eight digs, McIntosh seven digs and Furco five digs.
Mar 20, 2019