In a matchup between a pair of defending state champions and the top two squads in the Western New York Small School Coaches Poll, top-ranked Portville rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat second-ranked St. Mary’s of Lancaster in a five-set decision on the Lancers’ home court.
After dropping 25-20 and 25-23 decisions in the opening two sets, the Panthers won the final three sets 25-17, 25-11 and 25-17.
“It was such great volleyball on both sides of the court,” said Portville coach Kelly Unverdorben. “I wanted to play a great team before the playoffs and this was the team I wanted to play.”
Beth Miller had 31 kills and 21 digs while Sierra Keim added 17 kills and 28 digs. Kylie Blessing had 59 assists.
Girls top seeds advance
Top-seed Iroquois advanced to the semifinal round of the Class A-2 girls soccer playoffs with a 3-1 win over West Seneca East. Grace Kulniszewski scored once and assisted on the other two goals to lead the Chiefs (14-3-0) into a matchup with fourth-seeded Amherst. The Tigers (9-5-2) got a pair of goals each from Quinn DeCicco and Mallory Grubb to down visiting Kenmore East, 6-1.
In the bottom half of the A-2 bracket, second-seeded Lew-Port needed overtime to down Starpoint, 2-1. Sarah Woods scored the game-winner midway through the first overtime and the Lancers held the lead for the final 15 minutes of extra time. Lew-Port will face third-seeded Pioneer in the semifinals. The Panthers got two goals each from Kelsey Matuszak and Ashley Bliss in the 6-0 shutout over Maryvale. Matuszak also netted an assist and Jasmine Sims registered the blanking in goal.
In Class A-1 quarterfinal play, Hamburg rolled to an 8-0 shutout of visiting Kenmore West. Abby Kane led the Bulldogs with a pair of goals and three assists. Maddy Ingraham had two goals and an assist and Caitlyn Gonter and Claire Danyluk each had a goal and assist as well. Second-seed Hamburg will meet third-seed Niagara Wheatfield in the semifinals as Abby Mason was instrumental in both Falcon markers scoring once and adding an assist in a 2-1 win over North Tonawanda. Emma Scalione had four goals in Williamsville East’s 6-3 win over homestanding Williamsville South.
Olmsted, Lafayette to meet
Number one seed Olmsted opened play in the Class B-2 boys soccer playoffs with a 1-0 win over ninth-seeded Akron. Chris Cox netted the lone goal and Max Schmarder earned the shutout for the Owls. The win sets up a semifinal match with D’Youville Cup rival Lafayette, a 1-0 victor over Wilson as Kisongo Kashindi scored the lone goal. Allegany-Limestone advanced to the semifinal round with a 9-0 shutout of Falconer/Cassadaga Valley as Sam Flanders had three goals and an assist for the Gators. who will meet second seed Southwestern, a 1-0 winner over Eden.
In Class B-1, Lackawanna and Olean advanced to semifinal play. Lackawanna defeated Albion, 2-1, in overtime as Ilyas Galab scored the game winner for the Steelers. Olean defeated Fredonia in penalty kicks as Dominic Kahle scored the winner. Top-seed East Aurora downed Newfane, 7-1, to set up the semifinal contest with the Huskies. Josh Bean had two goals and two assists and Jonathan Putney also added a pair of goals for the Blue Devils. Tonawanda blanked City Honors, 2-0, as goalie Devon Carey recorded the shutout.
Donny Schmidt scored twice in Holland’s 5-0 win over Portville in the Class C bracket. The Dutchmen move on to face top-seeded Maple Grove, a 3-2 winner over Riverside. The Red Dragons remained undefeated as Caleb Foley scored twice. Second-seed Westfield/Brocton advanced with a 7-0 win over Silver Creek/Forestville. Josh Heim and Jason Almeter each scored twice to set up a meeting with third-seed Randolph, a 3-0 winner over Chautauqua Lake.
Eden sweeps Orchard Park
After clinching the ECIC III boys volleyball title with an undefeated 10-0 mark, Eden stepped up in class to defeat ECIC I opponent Orchard Park in three sets (25-22, 25-13, 25-23) on the Quakers’ home floor. Jake Basinski led the Raiders (17-2) with 11 kills and four aces. Setter Gavin Musielak accounted for 29 assists in the contest. Eden, ranked second in the Western New York Coaches poll, also downed ECIC I foes West Seneca West and Hamburg during the regular season. They host Monsignor Martin leader Canisius in the regular season finale on Oct. 24. Frontier, the league leader, in ECIC I remained undefeated after a three-set win over Lake Shore in boys volleyball. Brandon Dunz led the Falcons (13-1, 11-0) with 12 kills while Brian Norsen added eight. Frontier hosts West Seneca West in the league finale on Monday night.
East Aurora wins Class A swim title
East Aurora edged Iroquois, 427-423, to win the ECIC Class A team title on Thursday.
Iroquois senior Allison Lenda earned WNY Officials Association Swimmer of the Meet accolades as she won the 100-yard backstroke in a state qualifying time of 58.94 seconds. Lenda also won the 50-yard freestyle in 24.82 seconds, another state qualifying standard. She also was part of the Chiefs’ victorious 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays.
Alexandra Wheeler of Iroquois won the 100-yard butterfly (1:03.97), 200-yard individual medley (2:13.12) and 500-yard freestyle (5:24.88).
East Aurora’s Bridget Zagrobelny also earned a state-qualifying mark with her victory in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.35).
Field hockey playoffs set
Williamsville North, Iroquois and Barker gained the top seeds as the Section VI field hockey playoff pairings were announced Thursday.
In the six-team Class A bracket, Williamsville North and Clarence both held 15-1 league marks but the Spartans gained the top seed based on their win over the Red Devils during the regular season. Both squads earned byes into the semifinal round.
Iroquois picked up the seed in the Class B playoffs with a 14-2 record and will host a quarterfinal contest on Monday, Oct. 22 against either Starpoint or East Aurora, who meet in Friday’s prequarterfinal tilt.
Winners of the Niagara-Orleans League, Barker opens play on Monday with a quarterfinal match with eighth-seeded Newfane.
Semifinal round play in all three classes is Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Williamsville North for Classes A and B and Clarence for Class C. All three championship matches are slated for Nov. 1 at Williamsville North.
Mulhern, Crosier win Athlete of Week nods
St. Mary’s volleyball player Hannah Mulhern and Kenmore West football player Cam Crosier were named Prep Talk Athletes of the Week in online voting by readers.
Mulhern had 10 kills in a senior night victory against Sacred Heart to help St. Mary’s clinch another Monsignor Martin regular season title. The match was special because Mulhern started the season in a wheelchair following surgery to deal with a benign tumor in her brain stem. She received 53 percent of the vote.
Crosier set a school record with seven touchdowns in a 49-14 win over rival Kenmore East. He received 43 percent of the vote.
Each week’s winners will be entered in the Prep Talk Athlete of the Year voting in the spring.
Voting is conducted on BuffaloNews.com, beginning each Monday. The voting concludes Thursdays at noon. To nominate an athlete for consideration, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.