Hamburg getting better
Although Hamburg stands sixth in the ECIC I boys volleyball standings, the Bulldogs were ranked eighth in the most recent Western New York Coaches Poll.
Coach Brian Carroll’s team strengthened its case for a higher ranking Tuesday by sweeping three games from No. 5 ranked West Seneca West.
“We didn’t start the season very well but every game has gone five sets except for Orchard Park, which went four. We’re beginning to play better,” Carroll said.
Last Saturday, Hamburg topped division rival No. 7 ranked Clarence in the semifinals of the Sweet Home Tournament before falling to Lancaster in the championship match. Next on the schedule for the Bulldogs? Clarence again on Thursday.
“Then we’ll know if we’re as good as we hope to be,” Carroll said.
Senior setter Ryan Dils had 35 assists in Tuesday’s victory. Hamburg scored 15 points on serves by Dils. Junior Dan Gunning had 15 digs.
Meanwhile, Lancaster swept last-place Williamsville North in three sets in their ECIC I match. “They’re not a bad team. All three sets were close until we pulled away at the end,” said Lancaster coach Jason Stang. Jay Baumann led the Legends with 15 kills while Alex Kostek had 34 assists.
Canisius, the No. 1 ranked large school team in Western New York, won its 16th of the season, sweeping three sets from Frontier. Devin Joslyn led the Crusaders with 12 kills and five aces.
Wilson girls No. 4 in NYS
Wilson girls soccer, ranked No. 4 in New York State in Class B and first among small schools in Western New York, rolled on to another victory in the Niagara-Orleans league. The Lakewomen scored a tough 2-0 triumph over Albion for a sweep of the regular season series with the Purple Eagles.
“We beat them in overtime the first time. Both were hard-fought games,” said Wilson coach Tom Baia.
Baia and his team didn’t have much time to relax. Wilson took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of the second half with an assist by Zipporah Barrett.
It stayed that way until the final minute thanks to an acrobatic stop by sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kelly on a shot from 20 yards that seemed headed for the upper corner. Jenn Darlak scored an insurance goal, converting a pass from Aidan McGill.
“I believe this is the highest we’ve ever been ranked in the state poll,” said Baia, whose team was ranked sixth in the previous poll.
Clarence volleyers top OP
Clarence (6-0 ECIC I) is ranked No. 1 among large schools in girls volleyball, but was tied for first with Orchard Park in ECIC I standings before sweeping the third-ranked Quakers in three sets at Orchard Park.
“All the games were pretty close. My girls hung in there and played very well,” said Clarence coach Michael Meyer.
Karley King (11 kills and two blocks) and Meghan Neelon (15 kills, 14 assists) were among the standouts for the Red Devils.
“Our setter, Maddie Christopher, set a diversified offense with 19 assists, which is a lot in a three-set match,” Meyer said. “Jaide Cummings, our libero, passed almost every serve and led the team with five aces. She is a ninth-grader.”
Clarence will put its unbeaten league record on the line against Frontier on Wednesday. “It won’t get any easier,” Meyer said. “There a lot of good teams in our league. Every night is a fight. The girls can play on all those teams.”
Quakers blank Frontier
Jonathan Pardi, Chase Eagan and Matt Adamczak scored for Orchard Park and Mike D’Amato had the shutout in a 3-0 victory over visiting Frontier in ECIC I boys soccer.
Robert Thumler scored four goals and assisted on another for Iroquois in a 7-1 triumph over West Seneca East in ECIC II.