BY CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
WELLSVILLE — In the last week of September, the ties for Genesee Valley/Belfast came flooding in, as they were a part of three straight deadlocks — with Bolivar-Richburg, Friendship/Scio and Wellsville, before they returned themselves back into the win column.
The team would travel to Wellsville to face the Lions for the first time since their scoreless tie back on September 27 in the Jungle at Judy Bliven Field, where across all 100 minutes that took place, no scoring plays were provided with any capitalization by either squad, as they each settled on a scoreless draw.
A little over two weeks later in Wellsville, it was the same case scenario yet again.
Both Genesee Valley/Belfast and the host Lions would battle all across the field, fighting for possession. Through another set of 100 minutes that would come and go on the scoreboard, not a single goal would cross the white line and into the net, as a scoreless deadlock — the fourth tie for Genesee Valley/Belfast this season, would ultimately come into fruition to conclude the night.
Between the two teams, a combined 10 shots on goal were recorded with each netminder picking up the shutout. Genesee Valley/Belfast (6-5-4) would have the narrow advantage in that department by a slim 6-4 margin, with Thai Norasethaporn making all four stops.
On the other end for the Lions (6-7-2), Logan Dunbar would put a stop to six saves. Wellsville will return to their home pitch on Friday, as they host undefeated Fillmore in a 4:30 p.m. first kick on the very last nights of the regular season.
The six goals were accumulated off 18 total shots while the defense provided another sublime showing by allowing just one shot from the Lady Lions, which was stopped by Ashley Burrows to record the shutout. On the other end for Wellsville, Makenna Dunbar made 12 saves. The Lady Lions have concluded their regular season of play, as they now await Sectionals with a record of 1-14-1.
Houghton Academy 1, Friendship/Scio 0 (F-2OT)
FRIENDSHIP — Six minutes left in double overtime separated both Houghton Academy and Friendship/Scio from a potential tie to end their evenings on Tuesday. But through what was a defensive game all around, one single goal would manage to work its way into the back of the net.
That was recorded by Shams Zia who became the hero that the Panthers needed to come away victorious, taking possession into the Friendship/Scio zone by his lonesome and burying it home to give Houghton Academy the 1-0 edge they needed to claim their 10th victory of the season in Friendship.
Zia’s goal was one of six total shots between the two squads in the entirety of the battle, with Houghton Academy (10-5) narrowly doubling-up the hosts by a 4-2 count. In net, Marco Zanini would wind up recording the two-save shutout. On the opposite end of the field, Taylor Moore went on to make three saves for Friendship/Scio (5-9-1).
Both teams are back in action Thursday night in a pair of 7 p.m. contests, with the Panthers continuing their road swing into Hinsdale for a battle with the Bobcats, while Friendship/Scio heads over the hill to their other home in Scio to welcome in Andover/Whitesville.
Bolivar-Richburg 8, Cuba-Rushford 0
BOLIVAR — The time to get locked and loaded for Sectionals would come. With just one week away before the second season takes effect, the Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg would now start to take aim and perhaps lock onto one of Class C2’s top seeds heading into the tournament.
After narrowly falling in a 1-0 shutout to the hands of Fillmore back on Friday, they would rebound and grab some big help back home on Tuesday, as a three-goal first half against visiting Cuba-Rushford allowed them to set the tone for the remainder of the night at Dunsmore-Latimer Field, coasting towards an 8-0 shutout of the Rebels in the process.
The first half scoring was led by Ian Unfus and his hat trick to give the Wolverines (12-2-1) the advantageous edge they wanted to use, to set up shop by scoring a penalty shot that was sandwiched in between a pair of goals assisted by both Landon Barkley and Aydin Sisson along the way.
Barkley and Sisson would then later hand out two more assists in the team’s five-goal second half, to Reiss Gaines, who continued his tremendous season on the front line. Braden Zilker, along with Sisson and David Baldwin would round off the scoring for Bolivar-Richburg, with assists by Gaines, Evan Pinney, and a third from Sisson being recorded along the way.
The eight goals by the Wolverines were part of an 18-shot entourage that the offense would use against Cuba-Rushford (3-11), while the defense held the Rebels in check all across the 80 minutes, allowing just one to reach David Abdo, which was set aside to preserve the shutout.
Jack Frank would make 10 saves for the visitors in white and blue.
Both teams are back in action Thursday night, as Bolivar-Richburg now hits the road for their final regular season home game in a 7 p.m. battle at Judy Bliven Field in Belmont against host Genesee Valley/Belfast, while Cuba-Rushford heads back home to welcome in unbeaten Fillmore for a 5 p.m. contest in their last game of the regular season.
Hinsdale 4, Andover/Whitesville 1
HINSDALE — Since a 7-0 loss to the hands of Houghton Academy back at the end of September, the Bobcats of Hinsdale has shaken it off and have began to play some of their best soccer of the season at one of the more crucial and opportune times, with Sectionals beginning to come into view next week.
That would shift over into Tuesday night back on their home field with a first half hat trick jet-fueled by Preston Jackson, as the Bobcats gathered all the room they needed to keep their distance away from visiting Andover/Whitesville in the end with a 4-1 victory, keeping their hot streak alive with their fifth win in the last six games.
Paid in part by a strong first half start from Jackson, the Bobcats (6-8) were able to get the early jump on Andover/Whitesville with his pair of goals being scored in a 10-minute span beginning at the 26:54 mark, connecting with Xavier Pascucci on the play to deliver the first strike. He then would hook up with Robert Childs to branch the Hinsdale lead out to a pair when the halftime break settled in.
Before Andover/Whitesville (1-14) would get on the board, the hosts in blue and white would provide a massive piece of insurance to maintain their distance in front, as Jackson recorded his final goal past halfway off a helper dished along off the foot from Jake Elliott. The visitors would then cut their deficit back down to a pair seven minutes later with Colton Calladine capitalizing on a CJ Estep pass.
But the scoring was finished off by the Bobcats by Damion Brown with under four minutes left to seal the victory for good, with Jackson recording his seventh and final point with the assist. All four goals were scored off 24 total shots against Andover/Whitesville — a 24-6 outshooting in all to power the offense.
In goal, the win belonged to Ethan Chapman, as he made five saves for the hosts, while Landon Ordway made 20 saves on the other end.
Both teams are back in action Thursday night in a pair of 7 p.m. contests, with Hinsdale hosting Houghton Academy while Andover/Whitesville continues their road swing to Scio where they face Friendship/Scio.
Cuba-Rushford 3, Wellsville 1
CUBA — Sectionals are coming, and for Lady Rebels head coach Josh Tompkins, their next battle with Wellsville was one they wanted to use as a homestretch measuring stick on Tuesday.
Like their last game, both teams would take it straight down to the wire for much of the evening. The Lady Lions would take a four-set decision back home in the Lion’s Den the first time around, but Cuba-Rushford made sure that it didn’t happen again inside the Wighthouse.
A strong start, followed by some back-and-forth volleyball in the middle sets and then a narrow opening that would be big enough for the Lady Rebels to tear open in the final set of the night would be enough for them to provide a season-split with Wellsville on their home floor, as they took care of business with a 25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19 decision.
“It was a nice win. There’s always a couple matches when you play teams twice that I use as a test to see where we are, and how we have improved,” said Lady Rebels coach Josh Tompkins. “This one, in Bolivar, our last two games, we have gotten better. It showed tonight, and I’m hoping that keeps going in the right direction as we finish out the season.”
An initial 8-2 lead through the first 10 serves was garnered by Cuba-Rushford (7-5) to control against Wellsville to start the night right away. With it, carried a big boost of energy that would ultimately see their offense come alive by pushing their advantage out by as much as 10 — the biggest margin of the set, to maintain their momentum and finish the opening sequences strong with the match’s icebreaking lead.
Through a back-and-forth set, the Lady Rebels would navigate their way towards triumph once more in the end to push Wellsville (9-2) to the brink, finishing off an epic rally from behind after a 22-20 Lady Lions by scoring the last five points in a row to push their lead out to two.
The Lady Lions would not go down without a third-set fight however, as they avoided the straight-set sweep by the hosts in blue with a 25-22 win of their own, surviving another back-and-forth all the way down to the wire to come away victorious with the remaining pair of points needed to capture the win.
In the last set of the night, an early lead was established by the Lady Rebels before the Lady Lions transformed it back into another teeter-totter battle. A series of runs would then develop coming down the homestretch, seeing the visitors in black cut down the Lady Rebels lead to as little as two, but four straight points after a 21-19 lead would secure the win in the end.
Cuba-Rushford was fueled by a strong nine-kill, four-block night from Bri Green on the attack, adding one ace along the way. Jordyn Radomski and Lilah Stroud each chipped in with seven additional kills each, with Radomski collecting four aces and three digs, while Stroud denied two shots at the front of the net to continue furthering the team’s cause. Setter Kendall Tompkins handed out 28 assists to pair with five digs, three aces and a pair of kills.
Wellsville was led by Lindsey Stuck up front, garnering a team-high seven kills to go with one ace. Bryanna Moultrup contributed five additional kills, while Macey Wyant had four aces. The Lady Lions are back on the road tonight, visiting Bolivar-Richburg for a 7:30 p.m. first serve.
Up next for the Lady Rebels is some time off before they return to action again, as they return to their home floor on Monday for a 7:30 p.m. contest against the Lady Eagles of Fillmore.
Letchworth 3, Houghton Academy 0
HOUGHTON — One of Section V’s ultimate powerhouses on the volleyball court made a Tuesday appearance down south. At Houghton Academy, they were up against perhaps one of their toughest foes they have encountered this season — the Letchworth Lady Indians, who have taken down teams of prominence such as Geneseo, and heavyweight Pavilion.
From start to finish, the Lady Indians would take over against the Lady Panthers despite some late pressure in the third and final set the two teams would face, rolling towards an eventual straight-set sweep by a 25-15, 25-17, 25-21 count.
Houghton Academy (5-6) saw Jess Prentice, Jessica Adenuga and Abby Reitnour all combine to record 49 digs on defense to keep the ball off the floor, with Prentice taking charge of the offense along the way behind her team-highs of 21 digs, 11 kills and two aces. Adenuga would follow closely behind with 14 digs, 10 kills and a block, while Reitnour — the team’s setter, handed out 15 assists up front to pair with 14 additional digs.
The Lady Panthers will return to their home floor tonight with a 6 p.m. first serve against the Lady Eagles of Fillmore.
Ellicottville 3, Hinsdale 0
HINSDALE — The Lady Bobcats of Hinsdale started off the second set in a red-hot fashion against visiting Ellicottville on Tuesday, garnering a quick strand of scoreless points to jumpstart their rebound. But as time went on, the Lady Eagles would find their groove once again, erasing the early deficit to come away winners, ultimately setting up a straight-set win over the road by a 25-10, 25-21, 25-7 count.
After Ellicottville captured the match’s first strike with their opening set win, Hinsdale (2-9) shook it off quickly with a strong start to their game led by eight consecutive points to open the second set. Their lead would grow as much as nine, but would then evaporate to the hands of the Lady Eagles, who rebounded in a big way to spring out in front of the Lady Bobcats for good to ultimately push them towards the brink, and later capture the victory for themselves with a strong third set finish.
Statistics for the Lady Bobcats were not made available to report upon publication.
Hinsdale is back on the floor tonight, as they host Genesee Valley/Belfast in a 7:30 p.m. first serve.