The Cortland High girls’ varsity volleyball team began the season with the usual goals, win a division title and play for a sectional championship.
The Purple Tigers reached the first goal a couple of weeks ago and they can now check box number two. Second-seed Cortland was pushed for the third time this season by third-seed Chittenango and the Purple Tigers won the rubber match of the season in four sets Wednesday night at Shafer Gymnasium in the Section 3 Class A semifinals. Cortland won the first regular-season league meeting in five sets before falling in four sets at Shafer Gymnasium to the Bears as each team won on the away court to finish with one SCAC Empire Division league loss apiece.
With a trip to Section 3 title match in the balance, Cortland (19-1 overall) won the first two sets 25-15 and 25-16. Chittenango (17-2) stayed alive after taking the third set 25-18, but the Purple Tigers would end the Bears’ season in the fourth set 26-24 and head to the Class A Championship at Jamesville-DeWitt High School Saturday at 3 p.m. Cortland will face top-seed Carthage (19-0), who needed five sets Tuesday to down fourth seed New Hartford (16-2) 15-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 in the other Class A semifinal match.
“What a match,” Cortland coach Cheri Olson said. “I am beyond proud of this team for pulling out such a huge win. They played with confidence and poise. Kayci Olson was awesome tonight. Not only did she get the kills we needed, she served better than she has all season. Tori Cruz played well too. She is really a leader in the back row. Lexi Zacek went on multiple serving runs that really gave us the leads we needed in each set. Marissa Parzynski ended the match with a huge block. It was awesome!”
Olson finished the match with 16 kills, 12 digs, five aces and one block. Cruz delivered 14 digs while Zacek posted seven digs, five kills and two aces. Parzynski had three kills, three digs, two aces and two blocks. Grace Call doled out 24 assists with seven digs and two aces. Lindsey Bush provided four digs, two kills and two aces while Hannah Aldrich recorded three digs.
Chittenango saw Carolyn Myka hand out 19 assists with three digs and two aces. Sarah Martin provided 13 digs, six aces and three kills while Jada Masiclat added 11 digs and three kills. Savannah Penoyer led the Bears in kills with nine to go with six digs and four aces. Chelsea Lamphere had seven kills and provided five blocks. Bayla Cutrie pitched in with eight assists, six kills and four digs. Julianne Kent and Lily Callahan each chipped in with three digs.