For the second straight season, Oneonta High’s volleyball team outlasted Windsor in a tiebreaker to advance to the Section Four Class B championship match.
The second-seeded Yellowjackets (13-4) went 4-3 in pool play Thursday night at Horseheads Middle School and will join top-seeded Owego (17-0) in the final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Watkins Glen.
OHS played two games apiece against the other semifinalists _ Owego, Windsor and Maine-Endwell. The Yellowjackets beat fourth-seeded M-E, 25-18, 25-16, in their first match. Then they split with Windsor, winning the first game, 27-25, and losing the second, 25-23.
Owego, which beat OHS in five games to win the Southern Tier Athletic Conference championship last Thursday, followed with a 25-7, 25-18 win over OHS.
At the end of pool play, Owego had a 6-0 record, Oneonta and Windsor had 3-3 records and M-E went 0-6.
That forced a tiebreaker between Oneonta and Windsor to see who would oppose Owego in Saturday’s final.
The Yellowjackets won, 25-18.
“That tiebreaker was a total group effort,” OHS coach Lee Ferrara said. “Everyone just started playing. There was no standout. It was a total team effort.”
Hayley Dower and Brittney Herrick had key service runs in the tiebreaker. Dower ran off four straight points late in the match. Herrick had service runs of five and three.
“Hayley came up huge,” Ferrara said. “She wasn’t serving aces, but they couldn’t do anything with (her serves). Brittney Herrick has struggled all year long with her serves, but she had two different runs.”
For the night, Kelsey Baker led OHS with 18 kills, to go along with four blocks. Herrick finished with 15 kills, five blocks and six aces, and Krissy Wells had 37 assists. Dower chipped in with 10 digs and four aces.
Oneonta and Owego also met in last season’s Class B final with the Indians winning in five games.
“The No. 1 thing we have to do is hit,” Ferrara said of Saturday’s final. “If we don’t hit, we won’t be successful. Owego is a great ball-controlling team. If we give them easy stuff, they’ll hammer it back at us.
“(Our attack) falls more on my passers,” he continued. “You can’t do anything if you don’t get near the net. We’ve been hot and cold in that category all season.”
Section Four State
Oneonta High’s Erin Mushtare qualified for the state tournament by beating two runners she’d never beaten before during the Section Four State Qualifier at Chenango Valley State Park.
Oneonta girls finished fourth out of nine teams with 113 points. Newark Valley won with 25.
“She just wanted it more,” OHS coach Dan Forbes said of Mushtare, a senior who is in fourth year on the varsity team. “She has been training very hard. It does make a little bit of a difference in a three-mile race if you have a little more heart. She really buckled down.”
Mushtare, who finished sixth in 21:16 over the 3.1-mile course. She had never finished faster than Katie Markstein of Susquehanna Valley or Kaylee Uhl of Waverly, who placed eighth and 11th, respectively.
“She stuck with the SV girl though a mile and a half into the race,” Forbes said. “She said she thought she could pick up the pace and go by her and she not only passed her but the Waverly girl as well.”
Mushtare will compete at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 10 at Elma Meadows Golf Course near Buffalo in the state meet.
Alissa Garufi contributed a 14th-place for the Yellowjackets. She finished in 22:22.
On the boys side, Oneonta finished sixth. Sam Baskin, returning from a stress fracture and knee problems, just missed qualifying for the state meet. He finished eighth _ the top seven qualify _ in 18:23. Logan Mancuso was the second OHS runner to cross, placing 14th in 18:49.
“Sam was one place away from qualifying individually,” Forbes said. “It was only his fourth race this season, so he did a really good job. We’re a really young team on the boys side, so I can’t complain. Everyone ran really well and Logan was strong as always.
“The girls ran as well as the boys,” Forbes said. “It was a bit of a sad day for the girls because we have a lot of seniors. Of six runners, four are seniors and most of them have been with me since been I began coaching in Oneonta. But for Erin, she has one race left in her career and that is a really nice way for her to go out.”
Section Three Diving
Cooperstown’s Catherine Borgstrom qualified for the Section Three Diving Championships to be held Saturday morning at Nottingham High School.
Borgstrom finished 10th in the opening round on Wednesday at Nottingham. The top 16 swimmers qualify for Saturday’s finals.
The Redskins’ Lucy Ford and Renee Friedman also competed Wednesday but did not qualify for the finals.
The opening round of the Section Three swimming meet is today at Nottingham.
Borgstrom is also competing as a swimmer. Sophie Miller, McKenna Hage, Emily Stephenson, Liz Russo, Kelsey Lent, Tessa Griger, Lindsay Harloff, and Eden Griger also will swim for Cooperstown.