The Cheektowaga Girls Volleyball team played host to their annual tournament last Saturday. With twenty teams attending the event (10 Varsity / 10 Junior Varsity) all 4 courts saw consistent action through out the day.
Varsity’s Pool B saw some of the best volleyball of the tournament played during pool play. By the time the WSW Lady Indians faced off against the Southwestern Lady Trojans (3-team defending champions), the playoff scenarios had been set. West Seneca West needed to win at least one set to clinch their spot in the semi-finals, which they did with a 25-23 back-and-forth win in set 1 on an ace by Sarah Fritschi. With Sacred Heart beating Iroquois in the final pool play match, Southwestern found themselves eliminated as only the top 2 teams made it to playoffs.
“It was really tough to see Southwestern getting knocked out of playoff contention. While we came out of the pool with Sacred Heart, it very easily could have been Southwestern coming out in first and going on to win the tournament,” WSW Coach Matt Todaro had to say, “(Coach) Scott Brown runs a great program and he has some top level players who are fun to watch. Playing against his team definitely made us better.”
Both Sacred Heart and WSW would go on to win their semi-final matches with Lake Shore and Jamestown respectively, setting up a pool play re-match. WSW had won earlier in the day 23-25, 25-20 but it would be Sacred Heart who would take home the Gold.
The finals match was dominated by Lauren Aichinger and Micaela Ryan from Sacred Heart. With both being named to the all-tournament team, their presence in the middle made it difficult for the Lady Indians to gain consistent momentum.
“Sacred Heart certainly has a lot of offensive weapons at their disposal. We normally don’t see teams that have 2-3 game changers in the front row all game. Whenever we’d commit to stopping a specific attacker who was hot, Gabby (Berardi – Sacred Heart Setter) would just send the ball to another option,” commented Coach Todaro.
Coach JT Ripper was nothing but smiles after the event – proud of his team and the fight they played with all day. “It was a total team win, with a couple kids absent others had to step up. Every single player put their heart and sweat into the win. This sets the bar high for the rest of season with league play starting on Monday.”
Rebekah Patrick (WSW), Brooke Latour (Southwestern) and Jena Ponosny (Cheektowaga) were also named to the all-tournament team.
Sacred Heart plays host to Nichols tonight to kick off MMA league play at 5:30pm. WSW will host Orchard Park (1-0) tonight in an ECIC I matchup.
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