City Honors earned its first trip to the state tournament in 10 years Saturday by sweeping Section V Class C champion Nazareth, 25-18, 25-19, 25-7, in the Far West Regionals before an estimated 300 at Lockport High School.
Natalie Southard had 18 kills and five blocks, while senior Alysia Negron added 18 digs and 10 kills as the Centaurs (18-0) advanced to next Saturday's state gathering at the Civic Center in Glens Falls.
"It's a great accomplishment," Negron said. "It's taken us 10 years to get back to where we belong. ... It means a lot to us being a [Buffalo] city school."
"It feels amazing," Southard said. "It's indescribable almost."
City Honors is making its seventh state tournament appearance and has won four state titles, the last coming in 1995. The Centaurs lost in the state final in 1999.
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Eden advanced to its 11th straight state tournament, cruising to a 25-10, 25-6, 25-12, win over Section V champion Wayne in the Class B regional.
Hannah Herc led the Raiders (53-1-1) with 10 kills and six digs, while Katie Eschner had eight kills and four aces.
Eden won its last state championship, its sixth, in 2007. Last year's title quest fell short in the final when a banged-up Raiders crew lost in five games to Hendrick Hudson.
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It's not about quantity, it's about quality. Cattaraugus-Little Valley is the proof in the pudding.
The Timberwolves advanced to their first state tournament Saturday, beating Section V champion Lyons, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20, in the Class D Far West Regional clash before an estimated 250 at Lockport.
After rallying to win its first Section VI championship a week and a half ago, Cattaraugus/Little Valley -- which has just eight girls on its volleyball roster -- relied on solid serving and and made the hustle plays a team needs to make to earn a shot at the title in Glens Falls.
Eighth-grader Sara Crandall was a force with 19 kills and 18 digs, while her sister Erin, a sophomore, had eight kills and 16 digs. Shelby Ellis had 26 digs, while setter Casey Miller finished with 30 assists for the T-Wolves (20-2).
"It's great," said coach Joe Crandall, the father of both Sara and Erin. "It's kind of a 'pinch-me' to see if it's real situation. The kids played great. It's an unbelievable feeling."
Lyons finished 21-4.
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The feel-good season for the Hamburg girls volleyball team came to an end at the hands of defending state Class A champion Victor on Saturday morning in the Far West Regionals.
The Section V champions beat the Bulldogs, 25-17, 25-18, 25-9, in a match played before an estimated 100 at Lockport.
Hamburg, which went from 1-13 last year to winning the program's first Section VI title under first-year coach John Crangle, didn't have the size or the talent possessed by Victor (20-4), which has all but one starter back from last year's team. The Blue Devils advance to the state tournament next week in Glens Falls.
Kiersten Krolikowski led Hamburg (14-10) with eight kills and five blocks, while Jessica Wood finished with 39 assists.
"We weren't on anyone's radar this year," Crangle said. "I think the girls have created a new identity for themselves and the program. ... The girls gained confidence on the court throughout the year and off the court, too. As a teacher and a coach that's the most important thing. They improved, they learned and they had fun."
Jessica Fessler led the winners with 13 kills, while Brigid Moore had 31 assists.
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In Class AA, Canandaigua (19-1) ended the stunning run of North Tonawanda (16-3), sweeping the Section VI champions, 25-15, 25-15 25-12. The Braves' size and skill proved to be too much for an undersized NT crew to overcome as Canandaigua finished with 10 blocks, while 6-foot-2 Kymberly Gordon (19 kills, three blocks) and 6-footer Liz Scott (eight kills, three blocks) altered countless other shots. Adding to NT’s woes, Braves setter Marissa King (35 assists) did a wonderful job passing to keep their attack unpredictable.
Lauren Metzger led NT with seven kills.