The Daily Star
---- — STAFF REPORT
Oneonta High’s volleyball team knows its pain and it is Owego.
The Yellowjackets fell to Owego for the fourth time this season Saturday in the Section Four Class B final, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-10, at Watkins Glen.
It marks the second straight year OHS has lost to the Indians in the sectional final, the former a five-game loss.
“Owego is one of the best Class B schools in the state, hands down,” Oneonta coach Lee Ferrara said of the unbeaten Indians. “We played great ball. I’m proud of what these girls accomplished. Owego just played great, too. They had a little more to get past us again.”
Kelsey Baker and Brittney Herrick had 11 and 10 kills, respectively, to lead the Yellowjackets, who finished the season at 14-5. Both also had four aces, and Hayley Dower and Krissy Wells finished with 27 digs and 27 assists, respectively.
“We definitely did (hit well),” Ferrara said. “Michelle-Lee St. Marthe had a lot of attacks, too. We did everything we needed to do, but we didn’t do it for more than three sets. Owego really started playing great volleyball toward the end and we didn’t.”
The Indians (18-0), who also beat Oneonta in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference final in five games, were led by Kim Lavender’s 13 kills. Rachel Merrill and Paige Shaughnessy contributed 10 kills apiece for the Indians, who’ll head into intersectional play.
Ferrara said his team started fast in winning the first game. The Yellowjackets had a 20-18 lead in the second game before the Indians rallied.
“I was not happy at the end of the (second) set,” Ferrara said. “The last four to five points we just gave away with passing errors, lack of communication and hitting errors. We gave up way too many points after that and just kind of collapsed. We were chasing the rest of the time.”
In the third set, OHS fell behind early and never closed its deficit.
Of Dower’s 27 digs, Ferrara said: “Hayley Dower probably played the best match of her life. Owego has some big hitters, but Hayley has been learning and adjusting and putting herself in the right spots. She dug so many balls. To have 27 digs in a four sets is outstanding.”
OHS will lose Baker, Dower, Amelia Spaziani, St. Marthe, Gabrielle Gordon and Maraya Fisher to graduation.
“I’ll be missing half of my starting lineup next year,” Ferrara said. “On the same note, Brittney is getting stronger by the day and Krissy Wells has been running the court all season long and she’ll continue to get better. A great setter can make a mediocre team look really good. It’ll be a group effort next year.”
Section Four Class B meet
Stephanie Havens and Madison Allen earned second-place finishes as did Oneonta High’s 200-yard free relay team in leading the Yellowjackets to a third-place finish Saturday in the Section Four Class B meet at Owego.
OHS coach Teresa Burr said her team’s finish was its highest since she began coach five years ago.
Owego won with 545 points. Chenango Valley was second with 340 and Oneonta was next with 278 in the eight-team meet.
Havens finished second in the 100 free, touching in 58.87 seconds. Allen earned a runner-up finish in the 100 breastroke. She finished in 1:15.97.
Havens joined Erin Bischoff, Alexandra Sakoulas and Ceili Getman on Oneonta’s 200 free relay team that which finished in 1:50.62.
No OHS swimmers qualified for the state meet.
Section Three Class D meet
Cooperstown eighth-grader Samantha Fanion finished fourth in Saturday’s Section Three Class D girls race at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and earned a spot in the state meet.
Fanion completed the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 33.1 seconds. The top seven runners qualified for the state meet, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Elma Meadows Golf Course near Buffalo.
Fanion’s performance helped the Redskins to a fourth-place finish out of 16 teams. Cooperstown finished with 135 points. South Lewis won with 60, followed by Sauquoit Valley (88) and Remsen (118).
Kate O’Handley was the second Cooperstown runner to cross. She finished 32nd in 22:59.8.
Fabius-Pompey’s Erin McConnell won the race in 19:10.9.
Cooperstown’s boys placed eighth with 215 points. Beaver River won with 59.
Jake Burnham and Jacob Lansing finished 28th and 39th, respectively, to lead the Redskins. Burnham finished in 19:12.5, about 28 seconds ahead of Lansing.