They were co-champions in the league standings and split their regular season meetings. So it’s no surprise that Canisius and St. Joe’s will meet in the Monsignor Martin Association boys volleyball championship tonight at 5 at St. Francis.
In Thursday’s semifinals, St. Joe’s defeated St. Mary’s/Lancaster, 25-17, 25-22, 25-16, and Canisius swept St. Francis, 25-5, 25-8, 25-13.
“It will be an exciting match and an exciting night,” St. Joe’s coach Mark Anzalone said. “This being the rubber match, it should be exciting. The teams are pretty even going in.”
The strength for the Marauders (16-3) has been a balanced attack and solid play by the defense. In its semifinal win, Jack Heary had 25 assists, distributing the ball among his teammates.
“We had great balance tonight and contributions from all our guys,” Anzalone said. “That’s been the way we’ve been rolling all year. All our guys contribute. We have great balance offensively and I think they help each other out.”
For Canisius (24-5), David Jepsen had 13 kills and Brian Costello 10 aces. Aggressive serving has been the key of late for the Crusaders.
“Our jump serves were very effective in keeping St. Francis pinned back most of the match,” Canisius coach Tom Weislo said. “We’ve spent a lot of time practicing it and we’ve been getting better the second half of the year.
“Ever since we lost to St. Joe’s we’ve focused and worked hard in practice. The best way to say it is that we’ve been focused on getting better in a couple of different aspects. We’ve been aggressive on the serve and we’ve been blocking better.”
Riverside won the Class A-2 championship with a 1-0, double overtime victory over Iroquois.
Hassan Sabtow took a corner kick and Eldis Freeman headed the ball into the net with nine seconds left in the second overtime to give the Frontiers the win.
Sah Moo recorded his 15th shutout in 15 games for Riverside (15-0), which has not allowed a goal this season.
Christian Central and Gow will meet in the IAC/MMA Small Schools championship Saturday after semifinal wins.
Evan Rarick scored twice and Kevin Stuitje notched his eighth shutout as Christian Central defeated Niagara Catholic, 5-0.
Chuck McCrorary scored twice in the second half to help Gow (15-0) to a 4-1 win over Cardinal O’Hara.
North Collins advanced to the D-2 finals with a five-game win over Sherman. Christine Blidy, the lone senior on the Eagles (14-5), had 30 assists, six kills and five aces while junior Beth Kibler added 14 kills.