Orchard Park edges Clarence
It wasn't easy by any means, but Orchard Park outlasted Clarence in four games in ECIC boys volleyball Thursday.
"We need these challenges. Last year we just blew everyone out of the water," Orchard Park coach Matt Lexner said of his 10-1 Quakers.
Orchard Park took the first game relatively easily, but Game Two went on and on and on. Finally, Clarence came away with a 33-31 win.
"They didn't go away," Lexner said. "We must have gone a rotation and a half. We had an advantage at times, a couple of swings at game point. There was lots of digging, lots of hard hitting.
"But we responded and won the next two, although the last game was tough, too (25-23). Clarence would not relent. They played a clean match. They had very few errors."
Brian Schmidt had 25 digs, while Jake Driendel and Kevin Brouillard had 23 kills each for Orchard Park. Next week's matches include Williamsville North and Hamburg, the latter featuring the top two teams in the area.
"They [Hamburg] knocked us off pretty hard when we played earlier, so we'll be ready," Lexner said.
Ahmed to the rescue for West
In boys soccer, West Seneca West had to do a little improvising in its 5-0 win over Depew in the first round of the Dan Durick Tournament at Tonawanda's Clint Small Stadium. Sophomore goalie Alex Bratos got hurt with about 19 minutes left to play. He is the only goalie on the roster.
"One of our field players, Belal Ahmed, came in," coach Brian DeGlopper said. "He had never played goal before. We had kidded earlier this season that he was our backup, but we didn't expect to play him."
Bratos and Ahmed received plenty of offensive help, as Ryan Pulaski and Matt Peccia had two goals each.
"We're in ECIC I, a tough division, but we have a young team that's an up-and-comer," DeGlopper said. "It would be a big win for us if we could win the title. We're the defending champions."
Saturday's title game matches WSW against Frontier, which defeated Tonawanda, 3-1. Yannick Hill, Smajik Mulahmetovic, and Elliot Griffin scored goals.
No stopping Williamsville North
In girls soccer, Williamsville North just keeps rolling along. The Spartans rallied to beat Orchard Park, 2-1, in an ECIC I matchup.
"I thought it was a well-played game," North coach Doug Kircher said. "Orchard Park scored early in the game, about five minutes into the first half. We scored 15 minutes into the second half, and got the game-winner [Nikki Charbonbau] at about 25 minutes."
That moved the Spartans' record to 8-0. Kircher believes every game in the division is a good test.
"I haven't seen every team yet, but it's pretty well balanced," he said. "There's Clarence, the league champion from last year. Orchard Park has a very solid team. We haven't seen Frontier this year, but they're good."
In Monsignor Martin Association play, Nardin was thrilled to end a four-year losing streak against Nichols with a 1-0 win. Jenny Goergen scored the goal, while Tori Christ recorded the shutout.
The win leaves Nardin as the only unbeaten team in league play at 4-0-1; it is 9-1-1 overall.
Elsewhere, Newfane knocked off previously unbeaten Wilson, 2-1, in Niagara-Orleans play. Goalie Andrea Adinolfe had 15 saves for Newfane.
Newfane takes team event
In golf, Newfane claimed the Niagara-Orleans All-League team tournament with a score of 448. Medina took second (454) and Akron (458) placed third. Elia Cobti of Akron was the medalist with a 76 at Willowbrook Country Club.