With confidence and poise, Hamburg rebounded from a two-set deficit to rally and upset top-ranked Williamsville North in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class A girls volleyball tournament Wednesday night.
The Spartans won the first two games, 25-16, 25-17, before Hamburg came back to win the next three: 25-23, 25-23, 25-23.
“This was a rematch of last year’s finals and we lost in five last year,” Hamburg coach John Crangle said. “So coming into Williamsville North we were confident in our skill and trusted ourselves. We never hit the panic button. We relied on the girls to make the right plays at the right times. The girls executed the game plan extremely well.”
Andrea Buchanan had 27 kills and Gabrielle Eppolito 18 kills for the Bulldogs (10-6) while Taylor Hite had 62 assists.
Williamsville North had been the No. 1-ranked team in the large school poll.
It doesn’t get more dramatic than sudden death penalty kicks. And it was a sophomore for Williamsville North, who handled the pressure. Tori Novak scored on the sixth penalty kick for the Spartans to give them a 2-1 win over Lockport in the Class AA semifinals.
The teams traded goals in the first half and while the Spartans controlled the ball for much of the second half, they couldn’t get past the Lions’ defense.
After overtime, the teams went to penalty kicks. In the first round of five, Williamsville North went up, 3-1, but Lockport nailed two shots to tie the PKs at 3-3. The teams moved to sudden death penalty kicks. Lockport missed and Novak scored to end it.
“It’s something you obviously practice but you never hope or wish for it to come down to penalty kicks,” Spartans coach Doug Kircher said. “Win or lose, it’s a tough way to go for either team. We put a lot of time into it in case it does happen and you’ve got to have people who are willing to take on that kind of pressure.”
Williamsville North will meet Orchard Park in the final after the Quakers earned a 2-0 win over Clarence. Bernadette O’Connell had the shutout (15-1).
Akron advanced to the finals of Class B with a 5-1 win over Springville. Paige Buscaglia and Rylie Welch each scored twice for Akron (16-3), which will meet Eden after the Raiders blanked Tonwanda, 1-0, in the other semi. Erin Dix scored for Eden (15-4) while Courtney Cross had the shutout.
Jill Saltyn’s goal in the second overtime gave Holland (16-2) a 1-0 win over Frewsburg in a Class C semifinal. Holland will face Allegany-Limestone after the Gators (14-2-1) edged Maple Grove, 2-1. Courtney Vaughn had the game-winning goal.
In Class B quarterfinals, eighth grader Abby Ferenczy scored 1:14 before halftime to give Williamsville South the lead and momentum as the Billies blanked Sweet Home, 3-0.
Erin Eckenroad and Katelyn Kardamin scored in the second half while Allison Staebell recorded her 11th shutout of the season.
Jessica Whitmeyer scored with about 6:30 left in regulation to give Pioneer (10-5-2) a 2-1 win over Williamsville East.
Megan Fonfara scored three goals to pace Iroquois in a 4-0 win over East Aurora. Bri Malczewski recorded the shutout for the Chiefs (15-0-2).
Bridget Hogan scored with eight minutes left to give Hamburg a 2-1 win over Amherst.
In Class A, Allison Luksch scored in the first half to give Lancaster a 1-0 win over West Seneca West.
Barker advanced to the Class C semifinals with a 4-0 win over Holland. Kayla Moeller scored twice for Raiders, who improved to 14-0-1.
Denny and Melissa Grosshans also scored for Barker while Kim Zaetsel had two assists. Caitlyn Mason earned the shutout.