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High School Extra: Maple Grove cross country sweeps CCAAs, East Aurora girls volleyball tested

Maple Grove won the boys and girls team titles at the CCAA cross country championships for the second straight year on Friday at the 3.1-mile course at Bemus Point Golf Club.

Senior Michael Peppy defended his boys title for the Red Dragons by winning with a time of 16:33.58, nearly 15 seconds ahead of Randolph senior Matt Evans.

Cattaraugus/Little Valley senior Abby Gostomski won her second girls title in a row with a time of 18:53.49, followed by Clymer/Sherman/Panama sophomore Kylee Odell 14 seconds later. Maple Grove’s top finisher was freshman Christina Peppy, who came next in third. All seven of Maple Grove’s runners who scored were in the top 18.

Maple Grove’s four leading boys runners finished in the top 15 to help give it a team score of 60, followed by Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s 93 and CSP’s 129.

The Red Dragons’ girls score was lower with 40, followed by Fredonia/Westfield with 76 and Silver Creek/Forestville with 102.

Blue Devils tested

No. 1 East Aurora pulled out a five-set win in the Class B-1 girls volleyball quarterfinals over No. 9 Olean. Set scores were 25-18, 21-25, 25-18, 22-15 and 25-18.

One of the difficult aspects of the postseason in high school sports is going into a game blind, without any sort of scouting report of an uncommon opponent. That had an impact on the game Friday.

“It was a great match, a great atmosphere,” East Aurora coach Rebecca Jacobs said. “I was talking to the Olean coach before the game, and they come from a really strong division in the Southern Tier. They play Portville and other top schools. They play a lot faster than some of the teams we play here.”

Julia Halsey played a big part in the win with 13 kills and three aces.

“She did a great job on the outside controlling the offense,” Jacobs said.

The Blue Devils host a familiar face in No. 4 Iroquois on Monday.

“We beat them twice already this year but they have some strong hitters so that’s going to be our focus over the weekend and into Monday,” Jacobs said.

The Chiefs swept Cheektowaga by set scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-23. Raven Kirsch had 10 kills and Rachel Donner 24 assists for the winners.

Seeding upsets

Among the upsets in terms of seedings during Friday’s girls volleyball quarterfinal action inculdes No. 6 Kenmore West beating No. 3 Grand Island in five sets in Class A (24-26, 25-20, 25-12, 15-25, 25-13).

Abby Borkowski led the Blue Devils with 13 kills and 14 digs, while Erin Mitchell had 10 kills and 9 digs. Sarah Denman added 10 kills of her own as well.

Also in Class A, No. 5 Williamsville South went on the road and picked up a four-set win at No. 4 Hamburg (25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15). Amari DeBerry had 14 kills, Megan Muehlbauer 13 kills and Madison Popielski 12 kills for the Billies.

No. 5 Williamsville North swept No. 4 Lockport in Class AA by set scores of 28-26, 25-22 and 25-19. Allie Macon led the Spartans with six kills, 17 digs and six aces. Maia Reed contributed six kills, three blocks and two aces in the winning effort.

In Class C-1, No. 6 Roy-Hart swept No. 3 Olmsted behind the strong play of Aspen Moore (12 kills) and Olivia Vorholver (six kills).

In Class D, No. 6 North Collins beat No. 3 Cattaraugus/Little Valley in four sets and No. 5 Panama swept No. 4 Forestville.

The Eagles were led by the duo of Morgan Mathis (12 kills, two aces) and Deanne Wilson (16 kills, one ace).

Portville milestone

Senior setter Haley Unverdorben reached 2,000 assists for her career as No. 2 Portville swept No. 7 Silver Creek in the Class C-2 girls volleyball quarterfinals by set scores of 25-18, 25-8 and 25-9.

The Panthers host No. 3 Chautauqua Lake in the semifinals on Monday. The Thunderbirds swept Allegany-Limestone behind Olivia Anderson’s 10 kills, five digs and three aces.

On the other side of the C-2 bracket, top-seeded Cassadaga Valley swept Holland. The Cougars were led by Savanna Nickerson (18 assists, six aces) and Jenna Caskey (nine kills).

No. 4 Cleveland Hill beat Tapestry in four sets. Susie Horton led the Eagles with 12 aces and five kills.

All-High champs

The City Honors girls cross country team wrapped up a perfect season on Thursday in the All-High Championships raced at Delaware Park.

Centaurs runners Cecelia Favorito, Hannah Murphy and Ryan James finished in the top three spots, followed by Olmsted’s Angelina Sutton, Daisy Holden and Chloe Fuller. Carmela Morales of City Honors rounded out the All-High first team in seventh place. City Honors finished with 23 points and Olmsted 32.

It was a winner-take-all scenario for the boys title between Hutch-Tech, City Honors and Lafayette after Lafayette handed Hutch-Tech its first loss during the season since 2005 and the Engineers handed the Centaurs their only loss this season.

Hutch Tech’s runners came in second, fifth, eighth and ninth to give it the Columbia Cup with 41 points, three ahead of City Honors whose runners finished third, sixth, 10th, 11th and 14th.

I-Prep/Grover senior Ali Sadik came in first with a time of 13:54, which was eight seconds ahead of Hutch-Tech’s Montaka Shad. Rounding out the All-High first team were Patrick Sabato of City Honors, Mohamed Mohamed of Lafayette, Martin Espinal of Hutch-Tech, Isaac Tillotson of City Honors and Josean Lopez of I-Prep.

Next up for the top runners from the Buffalo Public Schools is the Section VI Championships next Friday at Bemus Point Golf Club.

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