HOMER — The Homer girls volleyball team began the final two weeks of the regular season with a disappointing 3-0 loss to the Marcellus Mustangs Tuesday night at Homer High.
The games weren’t particularly close, as the Mustangs won by scores of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-12. The flat performance against arguably the favorite for the NYSPHSAA Section III Class B title was not the best omen with the tournament around the corner and their likely first round sectional opponent, Westhill, on tap for Thursday night.
The Trojans stayed competitive with the Mustangs to begin the first set, with neither side leading by more than two points until Marcellus opened up a 14-11 advantage.
Neither side called a timeout in the first set, but once the Mustangs got the slightest separation, the combination of unforced errors and unbeatable shots began to mount, and it persisted throughout the rest of the match.
Trojans head coach Jeremy Cook said his team’s passing was good in the first set, but unforced errors and large deficits wore on their confidence.
“We knew we needed to be aggressive,” Cook said. “I was happy with how we passed, we just didn’t finish. 17-25 was not a terrible result in that first set… We didn’t adjust ball. They were tipping and leaving some balls short … we didn’t do a good job making adjustments on the fly. The unforced errors don’t help at all. We’ve talked about how we need to play almost perfect to beat a team that’s that good. They’re a state-ranked team. They’re going to make a run at sectionals and even the state tournament. They’re very, very good.”
Marcellus opened the second set on an 11-4 run that prompted Cook to call his first timeout of the match, and the Trojans responded by cutting the deficit to 14-12 before the Mustangs called their first timeout.
That timeout took the wind out of the Trojans’ sails, as their ensuing serve hit the net and the Mustangs won 11 of the last 14 points of the second set before cruising to the sweep in the third set. Homer (8-4) will have to dust themselves off for their match with Westhill, which serves as a sectionals preview and a litmus test for how deep the Trojans can go in the tournament.
“Hopefully we can use the fact that Marcellus beat Westhill twice to give us just a little bit of confidence,” Cook said. “I just want to go in and give them a match, and we’ve talked about as a team, just trying to compete for every point.”
Cortland 2, Fulton 1
David Kelchner and Dennis Topchiy each had a goal in the first half, and Scott Hourigan stopped 11 of 12 Fulton shots to even Cortland’s record at 7-7.
Cortland 3, Fulton 2
Val Gambitta scored the game-winner with six seconds left in regulation as the Purple Tigers scored all three of their goals in the final 12 minutes to erase a 2-0 deficit and improve to 8-4.
Soleil Gutchess and Ella Quick scored the other Cortland goals and Lauren Mott stopped 11 of 13 Fulton shots.
DeRuyter 1, McGraw 0
Brianna Hannafan scored the only goal the Rockets would need, and Abby Whitt posted an eight-save clean sheet as DeRuyter improved to 9-4 and McGraw fell to 3-6-3.
Marathon 1, Watkins Glen 0
The Olympians outshot Watkins Glen 16-6 and drew six corners to Watkins Glen’s one, but only Paige Hurlburt’s goal on an assist from Delta Barber in the 52nd minute was able to beat Watkins Glen goalie Lilly Ameigh.
Kendre Euson made six saves for the clean sheet, and the Olympians will face Odessa-Montour for the IAC Small School Championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at TC3.
Skaneateles 5, Homer 0
Five different players scored for the Lakers, while Emily Evans stopped all three Trojans shots on target, to drop Homer to 6-8-1.
Catherine Apker and Alex Kellaway combined to stop 19 Laker shots.
Waverly 2, Dryden 0
An own goal in the first half and a tally by Lea Van Allen in the second half put an end to Dryden’s regular season at 10-5. Chloe Rocker made six saves for the Lions, who now await their seeding in the Section IV tournament.
Homer 3, Cortland 0
Sara Cargen, Carley Calabro and Molly McMasters each had a goal and Emily Daniels made two saves to give the Trojans the win.