The defending Class C state champions are once again off to defend their title.
Portville girls volleyball defeated Eden in a five-set thriller on Friday night.
The Eden Raiders played hard to the bitter end but ultimately lost in a 26-24 final set.
Portville’s final set scores were 15-25, 25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 26-24.
The Panthers have won a state title in four of the last five years, two in Class C and two in Class D.
Last season, Portville swept Milbrook 3-0 to win the state title. The Panthers have yet to lose a game this year.
Quakers heading to Class B volleyball final
Orchard Park advanced to the Division I boys volleyball finals with a 3-0 sweep of Lancaster.
The Quakers, the number two overall seed in Division I, won 25-15, 25-18, 25-22. Joe Nicometo led Orchard Park with 20 kills. Hudson Harris and Nick Thomas each contributed nine kills and Jake Janus finished with 15 digs.
Orchard Park will face the winner of Clarence and Frontier in the championship on Thursday, Nov. 14 at Lackawanna High School at 7:30 p.m. Clarence won a coin flip to be the top seed in the division and received a bye into the semifinals.
St. Joe’s, Canisius meet in MMHSAA semis
The last time St. Joe’s and Canisius met on the football field, the Marauders and their student-fan section, ‘The Rowdies,’ celebrated a victory in the series for the first time since 2011.
Should St. Joe’s make it two in a row over its longtime rival, the celebration will likely be wilder and louder given what’s at stake.
The Marauders (6-3) host the Crusaders (4-5) in a Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association Large Schools playoff semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Robert T. Scott Athletic Complex. The winner meets defending champion St. Francis (8-1) for the title Nov. 16 at University at Buffalo.
St. Joe’s ended a 10-game losing streak to Canisius back in September, taking a 32-21 decision at the Crusaders’ Stransky Complex home.
The Marauders scored the game’s final 25 points during the final 17-plus minutes to overcome a 21-7 deficit. Callum Wither threw three touchdown passes and Micah Brown rushed for two TDs for St. Joe’s in that one.
The Marauders lead the all-time series between the teams 48-40-3. However, Canisius holds a 6-3 edge in playoff matchups.
The Crusaders have won the last three postseason meetings – including a 22-14 win in the 2017 championship game.
The last time St. Joe’s beat Canisius during the regular season in 2011, the Marauders followed that up by winning a 48-47 thriller in the semifinals.
Wither has completed 63 percent of his passes this season, throwing 21 touchdowns and 1,348 yards. Jimmy Scott leads St. Joe’s in rushing with 502 yards and seven TDs.
The Marauders come into the clash on a four-game winning streak.
Crusaders sophomore quarterback Tyler Baker has passed for 1,434 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 10. He leads his team in rushing yards (773).
St. Joe’s eliminated in state semifinals
St. Joe’s boys soccer was eliminated in the semifinals of the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association state semifinals to Archbishop Molloy, 2-0, at St. John’s University.
St. Joe’s finished its season 14-5-3.
St. Mary’s of Lancaster will play in the girls state semifinals today at 10 a.m. against St. Anthony’s. With a win they will play in the state finals on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Falcons run comes to an end in soccer
It was the end of the line for two Section VI teams in the Far West Regionals Friday night.
Greece-Athena defeated Niagara Wheatfield, 3-0, in Class A while Keshequa beat Maple Grove, 4-1, in Class C.
Niagara Wheatfield’s defense struggled with the pressure they faced from the Greece-Athena attack but held strong throughout most of the first half.
Ryan Fitzgerald scored the first goal of the game with 14:23 in the half to give Greece-Athena the lead.
The Falcons had chances out of the half but couldn’t convert.
Emmitt Rosado scored off a perfect service pass in to give Greece-Athena a 2-0 lead with just over 15 minutes left in the game.
Dylan Rice finished it, scoring with 2:22 remaining.
Niagara Wheatfield’s season ends after winning the Class A title and going to the Far West Regionals for the first time.