December 5, 2021

Purple Tigers claim sectional title

Championship is first in 30 years

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DEWITT — The Cortland High girls’ varsity volleyball team has done something not seen in 30 years. The Purple Tigers are Section 3 champions.

Second-seeded Cortland posted a three-set sweep victory in the Class A final over top-seed Carthage Saturday at Jamesville-DeWitt High School to complete a 20-1 season and do something no Purple Tiger team had done since 1990, win the sectional title.

That 1990 team won the Class B title in five sets over Solvay after falling in the final to the Bearcats in 1987 (3 games to 0) and in 1988 (3-1). After that 1990 championship, Cortland and Solvay met in Class B postseason play every year through 1996. Solvay won in the finals in 1992, 1994 and 1995 while knocking Cortland out in the semifinals in 1991, 1993 and 1996.

“I am so happy to share this with my daughter,” Cortland coach Cheri Olson said. “What a way to end her high school career. I am beyond proud of all the girls on the team. They really played their own game and it was so fun to watch them play.”

After winning those first two sets in tight battles 25-23 and 25-23, Cortland appeared to take the fight out of Carthage in the third set and rolled to an easy 25-14 win in the final set and wrapped up the title.

The daughter Olson referred to was senior hitter Kayci Olson who delivered 17 kills, eight digs and four aces in the championship match. Grace Call handed out 28 assists to go with four digs. Lexi Zacek posted eight digs, five kills and two aces while Marissa Parzynski had six digs and five kills. Tori Cruz had a team high 13 digs with Hannah Aldrich adding five digs. Lindsey Bush provided four kills and four digs while Julia Guest recorded three kills and two digs.

Mikenzie Martens had seven kills and 10 digs to lead Carthage (19-1). Liya Mace dished out 19 assists for the Comets. Jadyn Childers added 10 digs, Caroline Culbreth had six kills and Laura Albright provided seven digs and four kills.