By Dave Ricci
Special to The News
It was a classic Border War battle. When the dust settled it was the top-seeded Red Devils that were champions. Again.
Lindsey Leipold had 27 assists as Clarence beat No. 2 Lancaster, three games to one, to claim the Section VI Class AA championship as part of a girls volleyball double header that was played at Daemen College, Thursday night.
The nightcap saw top-seed Williamsville East beat No. 2 Niagara Wheatfield, three games to one, in the Class A championship game.
Clarence and Will East now advance to the Far West Regionals that will be played at Daemen College next Thursday, at 6 p.m. (AA) and 8 p.m. (A).
Falling in game one, 25-22, the Red Devils stormed back to take the next three sets 25-19, 25-20 and 25-22 to claim their fourth straight sectional title.
“Unbelievable. Literally an unbelievable experience,” Clarence’s Lindsey Leipold said.
“After losing seven seniors it’s just amazing to show that we could come back and do this.”
Down 2-0 in their semifinal match against Williamsville North, the Red Devils knew they had the ability to comeback.
But Clarence head coach Michael Meyer didn’t want his team to wait until the second game to gain control. He told them start turning the tide in game one.
“At the end of that first game when we were able to make a run I said listen, we may not win this game, but we can send a message with how we play the rest of the game,” Meyer said.
“We started taking big swings and the momentum turned. Then they were able to stick with it.”
The play of Kennedy Oleszak (eight kills) was key in Clarence taking control of the game.
Game four was a furious back and forth contest that was tied 11 different times.
The Legends graduate eight seniors including Julia Kurowski who had 13 kills.
“These were unlike any other seniors that I’ve coached,” Lancaster coach Becky Edwards said.
Led by Ally Jozwiak and Rachel Steffan, who had 18 kills each, the Flames won their fourth straight sectional title as they look for a third consecutive trip to states.
Will East advanced by scores of 25-23, 19-25, 25-12 and 25-22.
“This was a game that was separating us from where we want to be and that’s states again,” said Jozwiak, who had three aces in game three.
Makayla Greenfield had 42 assists for Will East.
Callista Zayatz had seven kills for the NFL champion Falcons.