When New York State introduced a state tournament in boys volleyball three years ago, the immediate question in Section VI was who would be the first team to qualify? Based on their history of success, Orchard Park or Eden seemed like a pretty educated guess. After being shut out the first two years of the event, Lake Shore finally broke through in 2012 and became the answer to the future trivia question.
The Eagles didn’t win, falling to Bellmore of Section VIII, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16, but the Class B state title game isn’t a bad place to end your season. To reach states Lake Shore won their second consecutive Section VI title by downing Kenmore East in the final. From there it was a victory over Brighton of Section V in the Far West Regionals.
“It would have been nice if we could have pulled it out, it was a good group of kids,” said Lake Shore’s John Coyle, who has coached 17 seasons. “We had a lot of pride going down there, not only representing the school, but the Section. Section V is tough, they have a lot of club teams, they play year round. It was a big hurdle to get past them.”
Lake Shore was also well represented on the All-Western New York team landing setter Billy Pinter for the second year in a row and outside hitter Ryan Joslyn. The seniors helped lead the team to a 20-5 overall record and a 12-0 mark in ECIC II. Pinter averaged 7.8 kills per match, but delivered big time in the Regionals with 17.
“From the beginning of the season I knew we had to potential to make it that far,” said Pinter. “We had talent and we had been playing club together for years. Halfway through the season we switched to a 6-2 where I got to hit as well and Ryan started setting. We just had chemistry.”
The All-WNY team, which celebrates its 30th year, was chosen by a panel of area coaches.
Orchard Park’s Matt Lexner and Walt Stefani were named the WNY Coaches of Year by their peers. The Quakers (22-3, 11-1) won the Section VI Class A title in a five-game thriller over two-time defending champion Frontier, and finished as the No. 1 ranked team in the WNY Coaches poll. They were eliminated in the regionals in four games by McQuaid, which went on to win its third state title and extend its winning streak to 52 straight matches.
There are three repeat first teamers: Pinter, Dave Jepson of Canisius and Trey Cimorelli of Orchard Park. Cimorelli had 587 digs this season to end his career with a school record 1,784. He also carries a 97 average. The only junior is Canisius setter Brian Costello.
Section VI also placed three on first team All-New York State: Joslyn (Class B), Pinter (Class B) and Cimorelli (Class A).
ECIC titles were won by Orchard Park (ECIC I), Lake Shore (ECIC II), Eden (ECIC III) while Grand Island (11-1) won the Niagara Frontier League. OP’s only league loss was to Clarence.
Canisius (26-5) won its 13th consecutive Monsignor Martin Association title. Jepson of Canisius and Jack Heary of St. Joe’s were named the league’s co-MVPs.
Jepson was clearly the league’s comeback player of the year. After he broke both bones in his lower leg on Memorial Day, his senior season was in jeopardy. Not only did he recover, he played well enough to make All-WNY.
“I think I’ll remember it as just having the ability to play considering I wasn’t expected to,” said Jepson. “I was just happy to finish off the season with a championship. I did not expect to be in the place I was at the end of the year. It’s pretty strong. I did a lot of training to get it to where it was. You can’t think about it.”
St. Joe’s lost three of the four matches with rival Canisius, but the one win, coming in the first meeting, snapped the Crusaders’ league and playoff winning streak that went back an impressive 12 years.
“That refocused us. It was a wake-up call, a kick in the butt so to speak,” said Canisius coach Tom Weislo. “After that loss we didn’t drop a set. We’re always circled on their schedule. We need to be good all the time. We know we’re going to get everyone’s best. We learned that the hard way this year, and we took care of business the rest of the way.”
All-WNY Boys Volleyball Team
Player, Pos./Yr., School Fast fact
Billy Pinter, S/12, Lake Shore: Two-time All-WNY and All-NYS, led Eagles with 58 aces, considering Nazareth and Bona.
Dave Jepson, OH/12, Canisius: Repeat first team pick, co-MVP of the MMA, made seven career all-tournament teams, 3-year starter.
Connor Krolikowski, OH/12, Hamburg: MVP of Sweet Home tourney, named to 3 other all-tourney teams, 96 average, considering NYU.
Ryan Joslyn, OH/12, Lake Shore: First team All-NYS, had 54 aces, averaged 9.5 kills per match, had 17 kills in FWR vs. Brighton.
Trey Cimorelli, L/12, Orchard Park: Repeat pick, first team All-NYS, MVP of the OP Tourney, 3-time all-tourney at Eden.
Tyler Eagleton, OH/12, Orchard Park: MVP of the Webster Tourney, 3-year starter, over 400 kills, 90 average, all-tourney at OP.
Brian Costello, S/11, Canisius: Named to 3 all-tournament teams, 780 assists, only junior to make All-WNY, 90 average, 37 aces.
Jack Heary, S/12, St. Joe’s: Co-MVP of the MMA, all-tourney at Clarence, had a big match in win over Canisius, 90 average.
Boys volleyball honor roll
ALL-WESTERN NEW YORK 2012
Yr. Player School Pos.
12 Billy Pinter Lake Shore S
12 Dave Jepson Canisius OH
12 Connor Krolikowski Hamburg OH
12 Ryan Joslyn Lake Shore OH
12 Trey Cimorelli Orchard Park L
12 Jack Heary St. Joe’s S
12 Tyler Eagleton Orchard Park OH
11 Brian Costello Canisius S
12 Kevin Donahue Orchard Park OH
12 Connor Govenettio Lake Shore OH
11 Dylan Durni Frontier OH
10 Jake Gleason Frontier S
11 Anthony Podgorsak Wmsv. South OH
12 Tyler Penberthy Wmsv. North OH
11 Rick Crumlish St. Joe’s OH
12 Shaun O’Brien W.S. West OH
WNY Co-Coaches of the Year
Matt Lexner, Walt Stefani (Orchard Park).
Yr. Player School
12 Devon Goeller Clarence
12 Chase Squires Clarence
11 Erik Hatten Frontier
11 Patrick Stroh Hamburg
10 Doug Horbachewski Hamburg
12 Connor Nowak Lancaster
11 Nolan McArdle Orchard Park
12 Kenny Dudkowski Orchard Park
FRONTIER: Derek Hosken, Spencer Avery. HAMBURG: Tony Guzzetta, Ben Michaels. ORCHARD PARK: Joel Ross, Graham Patterson, Brian Manley-11. WEST SENECA WEST: Gregg Hart-11.
Yr. Player School
12 Dane Cala Lake Shore
12 Tyler Freeman Lake Shore
12 Clark Bruecki Lake Shore
11 Steve Zaprowski Williamsville South
9 Joe Zanelotti Williamsville South
12 James Purkiss Williamsville East
12 Chris Stonish Sweet Home
11 Brett Kane Starpoint
LAKE SHORE: Brad Owens-11, Cody Pudlewski. STARPOINT: Calvin Crosby. SWEET HOME: Taylor Sutherland-11.
WILLIAMSVILLE EAST: Mike Wisniewski-11, Dylan Cicero-10, Tom Wisniewski.
WILLIAMSVILLE SOUTH: Christian Graziano-10.
Yr. Player School
12 Ryan Vondell Eden
9 Declan Pierce Eden
10 Brad Meyer Eden
11 Kevin Kelly Maryvale
12 Ed Kerber Cheektowaga
12 Alex Turecki Amherst
11 Ryan Robida Maryvale
12 Gabe Radoccia-Feuerstein Amherst
AMHERST: Evan Hall-11. CHEEKTOWAGA: Noah McGhee, Chris Kiripolsky. EDEN: Cole Overhof-10, Hadyn Herc-10, Dakota Sheffield. MARYVALE: Tyler Nosal-11, Jordan Teed-11.
NIAgara FRONTIER league
Yr. Player School Pos.
11 Brock Tetreault Grand Island OH
12 Adam Heftka Grand Island S
12 Kyle Patterson Kenmore East OH
12 Drake DeJesus Kenmore East MH
12 Collin McMahon Grand Island OH
11 Jack Whalen Lockport S
11 Joe Piotrowski North Tonawanda S
GRAND ISLAND: Mike Podgorny-10. KENMORE EAST: Mike Crawford. LOCKPORT: Shawn Moore-11, Eamon Yates-11. NIAGARA FALLS: Steffon Baldwin. NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD: Joe Kelly-11. NORTH TONAWANDA: Ryan Fritz-11.
KENMORE WEST: Niko Mancuso-11. LOCKPORT: Bryce Perry-11, Brad Schneider-11, Josh Donorovich-10. NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD: Austin Hayes-11, Sam Mattheus-11. NORTH TONAWANDA: Donovan Book-10.
Players of the Year
David Jepson (Canisius), Jack Heary (St. Joe’s).
Yr. Player School Pos.
12 Jake Canavan St. Joe’s MB
12 Alec Cowe Canisius OH
12 Taylor Johnson Canisius L
12 Mike Taboni Canisius MB
11 Tyler English St. Mary’s/Lanc. MB
11 Peter Laux St. Joe’s OH
10 Trevor Gooch Canisius RS
CANISIUS: Zach Schurr. CARDINAL O’HARA: Tyler Re. ST. FRANCIS: Tom Duszkiewicz-11. ST. JOE’S: Neil Conway-11, Brad Kreppel-11. ST. MARY’S/LANCASTER: Marc Gonzalez-11. TIMON-ST. JUDE: Mike George.