NEW YORK STATE VOLLEYBALL: VICTORY IS 'SWEET' AS CANDOR REPEATS AS CLASS D REGIONAL CHAMP (2021-11-13)
By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
BINGHAMTON — Candor didn't know much about LaFayette entering Saturday's NYSPHSAA Class D volleyball regional at Chenango Valley High School here. However, it didn't take the Indians long to realize they were going to have to work for a victory.
In the end the defending state champions worked their way to a 3-0 victory, winning by scores of 25-21, 25-18 and 25-18.
Candor coach Pam Quinlan was thrilled that her team is repeating as regional queens after a lengthy state playoff pause due to COVID-19 — and even more delighted for her players' accomplishment.
"It's just so great," she said. "The girls have just worked so hard, I mean, every team we've played, I know they've worked hard. Every team works hard and to just have them be able to really pull it together today and just get this win and this victory over a very tenacious, defensive team that hit a lot of stuff us.
"I thought LaFayette played great today and we were able to just pull out, maybe some hits, maybe some defense, and every win, I guess every victory, you know, you just want it so much for your girls, because you just know that they've worked so hard for it. It's sweet."
The Indians never led by more than five in the opening set, that coming when they broke an 18-18 deadlock to surge to a 24-19 advantage. The game was tight all the way with Candor building leads of 12-8 and 13-9 only to have the Lancers battle back to tie the contest at 15, 16 and 17 before taking a brief 18-17 edge.
Coming into the match, Quinlan had concerns about playing a team her team was unfamiliar with.
"I think just trying to adjust to a different team's tempo that you haven't seen before, trying to figure out how to defensively, maybe stop them and how to find some holes in their defense to score some points," she said. ":I think you can read about a team and know some statistics, but until you actually play them, you just have to kind of adjust to what's going on out there.
"I think in the first game we struggled a little bit and then as the games went on, I think we did that a little bit better."
The second set opened a little differently with the Indians jumping in front, 10-2, partly due to the serving of Addie Aman and Isabel Makie. The Indians would build a 10-point cushion at 14-4, however, LaFayette rallied to make it a 19-16 game before Candor scored six of the final eight points.
The third set was tight at the start with the Lancers grabbing the early edge only to have Candor rally in front to stay at 6-5. The Indians would build a 9-point lead over the Section III champs at 19-10. LaFayette trimmed the score to 22-16 down the stretch, but could get no closer.
Brooke Wilcox dished out 25 assists to go with six service points, one ace and two digs for the Indians. Anna Greeno had eight service points, two aces; Janelle Marsh recorded eight kills; Grace Handy posted five kills and one block; Shelby Swartz registered nine service points, two aces, 10 kills and 10 digs; Isabel Makie added 14 service points, two aces, six kills, seven digs; and Addie Aman had five service points, 18 digs.
Layla Isaacs had six kills and seven digs for the Lancers (14-4) and freshman setter Chylure Bucktooth doled out 15 assists. Isabella Shenandoah-Kurtz added four aces and three kills, Taylor Kadlubowski had five kills, and Ellie McElhannon tacked on nine digs.
"Their outside hitter, No. 13, you know, hits a great ball," Quinlan said of Isaacs. "Their setter, who I know is young, did a great job," she added of Bucktooth.
Candor (21-1) heads to Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls Saturday for the finals. The Indians will open pool play at 3 p.m. against Galway from Section II, Pavilion from Section V and Mount Academy from Section IX.
IN PHOTO 1: Candor's Madison Compton. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.