Chittenango- The LaFayette girls volleyball team lost to Tioga in a 5 set thriller for a birth in the State finals. Tioga, the Sectional champion from Section 4, had an impressive resume heading into the game with an undefeated record (20-0) including two quality wins over last year’s Section 4 champion, Harpursville.
“We knew this would be a great challenge for us,” said Coach Abby Lerch. “Our girls responded well to the game day positioning changes. But we have continuously improved throughout the season and we were ready.”
The first game saw the Section 4 champion take the first set 25-17. The Lancers then responded by taking the second set by the same score, 25-17.
“I thought that that second set was important for our girls,” added Coach Simone Thornton (Snipe Clan). “We knew then that we could not only play with Tioga, but we could win.”
The final three sets was an exciting see-saw between the two teams as both team’s fans were definitely loud and boisterous adding to the excitement and tension of the game.
“The crowd was great,” said middle hitter Sophia Powless (Wolf Clan). “We really used the crowd to motivate us. It is fun to play in games like these.”
The third set was extremely close with both teams holding leads throughout the game. But with the game tied at 23, Tioga was able to pullout the last two points to win the third game 25-23.
Stated Coach Thornton, “I think the fourth game was a great testament to the girls. They just lost a close set they could have won. And they came back even harder the next set.”
With timely blocks from Kyla Smoke (Beaver clan), kills from Logan Booth (Snipe Clan), Dani Gibson (Wolf clan), great sets from Rhiannon Abrams (Bear clan) and a service streak from Sophia Powless, the Lancers never trailed and took the set with a 25-22 win.
The final set would be just as close.
Tioga opened up a lead to start the decisive set. Only to have the Lancers battle back to tie the game at 14. The Lancers found them behind 18-15 before going on a run of their own with the aid of kills from Logan Booth and Sophia Powless. With the game tied at 18, the undefeated Tioga were able to win the next seven points while the Lancers were able to add one point for a 19-25 loss.
“I was so proud of the girls and how they played,” added Coach Thornton. “These girls played their heart out against an undefeated Tioga team, and we had our chances. There is nothing more we could have asked of our girls.”
Also congratulations to outside hitter Logan Booth and setter Rhiannon Abrams being named to the First Team All-CNY team. Also Sophia Powless was named to her second consecutive First Team All-CNY team as well as being named the 2015 Liberty League Player of the Year.