City Honors earns win
The Section VI playoffs in girls volleyball began in earnest on Friday night with the quarterfinals. That means all of the teams have started their journey toward a regional championship and beyond.
In Class B-2, City Honors – the top seed – advanced with a three-set win over Medina. The Centaurs were led by Alena McKelvey, who had eight kills and 16 digs, and Tori Guzman, who finished with 14 digs and two aces.
City Honors coach Deborah Matos is always happy to get a win at this time of the year.
“We’re excited about moving on,” she said. “We’re young – we put a young team on the floor. There’s some experience out there, though. We’re excited. We just have to keep working hard.”
The Centaurs moved to 11-4 for the season. It’s a little tough to judge how good they can be in the postseason.
“We run an independent schedule,” Matos said. “We did well against the bigger schools, and that helped our seeding. We had a lot of five-set matches – maybe more than usual.
“I thought we’d get a pretty high seed, but it’s not an easy bracket. We’ve got to hang in there.”
Elsewhere, No. 5 Springville advanced past No. 4 I-Prep in three sets. Shelby Kerstin had nine blocks and 15 kills for Alden in a three-setter over Fredonia.
In Class AA, Meghan Neelon had 19 kills and seven digs as No. 1 Clarence took care of Williamsville North in straight sets. Elsewhere, Alyss Babinger had nine kills for
No. 2 Lancaster’s sweep of Frontier. No. 3 Lockport beat Orchard Park in four sets; Kourtney Krchniak had 24 assists and four kills for the Lions. Niagara-Wheatfield rallied from two sets down to beat Kenmore West.
In Class A, No. 1 Grand Island rode Lauren Chadwick’s 19 kills to a win over Kenmore East in three sets. Next up for the Vikings is Williamsville South; the No. 5 seed swept Hutch-Tech.
Maryvale, the top seed in Class B-1, rolled to a sweep of Dunkirk. Jaelah George had seven digs and five kills for the Flyers. Maria Verrastro had 19 assists in Cheektowaga’s three-set win over Lewiston-Porter.
In Class C-1, No. 1 Akron was in good form in a three-set win over Wilson. Sharrah Jonathan had 18 assists and five aces, while Whitley Stafford finished with 21 digs. Sam Burgio had 14 kills for No. 4 Eden in a three-set win over Southwestern.
Beth Miller, a Prep Talk Girls Athlete of the Week this season, had 12 kills and five aces to lead top-seeded Portville to a three-set win over Falconer in C-2 play.
In Class D, No. 1 North Collins had a bye into the semifinals. No. 2 Panama had a three-set win over Pine Valley, as Madaline Bowden had 16 kills and seven digs.
In the Msgr. Martin quarterfinals, Lilly Muller had 10 aces in Mount St. Mary’s three-set win over Nichols.
East Aurora wins opener
The playoffs started on Friday in boys volleyball. There was a limited schedule of prequarterfinal games.
East Aurora moved along with a five-set win over Amherst. Jack Gurbacki had six aces and Nate Mucci had nine kills for the Blue Devils, who moved along to play Maryvale.
Parker Lewis had 15 kills as Niagara-Wheatfield took care of West Seneca East in straight sets. Ian Barker had 13 kills and five aces to pace West Seneca West to a three-set win over Kenmore East.
All teams will play on on Tuesday. The top seeds are Lockport (Division I), Williamsville East (Division II-A), and Eden (Division II-B).
Canisius-St. Joe’s coming up
The Msgr. Martin Athletic Association staged its boys soccer semifinals, and form held up – which means it’s two old rivals heading for the championship game.
Canisius defeated St. Francis, 4-2, in one of the games. The Crusaders were led by Max Montante, who had two goals, and Charlie Stube, who finished with two assists. Canisius improved to 13-2 on the season. St. Joe’s took a 3-0 victory in a game with Nichols. Ben Galkiewicz had a goal and an assist for the Marauders.
Canisius and St. Joe’s also played for the previous two championships.
The Section VI field hockey playoff game between Orchard Park and Williamsville North has been moved from Orchard Park to Sweet Home. The starting time is 3 p.m.