First-time division champion Oneonta High received a match-high 43 assists from Krissy Wells on Tuesday in a 3-2 Southern Tier Athletic Conference volleyball semifinal victory over visiting Horseheads.
“Best win of my career,” OHS coach Lee Ferrara said of a 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 18-25, 25-21 victory that took nearly 2½ hours to complete. “We pulled together and refused to lose.”
The STAC East Division champion Yellowjackets (12-3) advanced to the conference final at undefeated Owego at 6 p.m. Thursday. Ferrara said Owego beat Vestal, 3-2, in Tuesday’s other STAC semifinal.
Oneonta fell, 25-15, 25-18, 25-23, to Owego at home during a regular-season match last Thursday.
Kelsey Baker, a senior, served the last four points of the opening game to snap a 21-all tie, but Class AA Horseheads responded with a 25-23 win in the second game.
A six-point service run by senior Hayley Dower, who finished with 26 digs and four aces, closed the third game to put OHS back on top.
After dropping the fourth game, Oneonta faced a 19-12 deficit in the fifth.
Amelia Spaziani, also a senior, served the next four points in a row as OHS pulled to 19-16. With the Jackets down, 20-18, Dower served four straight points to give OHS the lead for keeps.
Wells capped the victory with two consecutive service points for the Jackets, who will make their first appearance in the STAC championship match on Thursday.
Ferrara also said that Spaziani is Oneonta’s record holder for all-time aces with 157. Earlier this season, she broke the record of 118 set by Val Ridgway three seasons ago.