Weekly Feature

2017-10-12 / Sports

East sweeps ‘Dig Pink’ doubleheader


West Seneca East’s boys and girls volleyball teams took down their counterparts from the West side of town to earn a sweep of Friday’s rivalry matches at the 10th annual “Dig Pink” Volley- ball Cancer Fundraising Event, held once again at the Buffalo Niagara Court Center.

The Trojans’ boys team defeated the Indians’ squad by 21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 15-11 scores, while the Lady Trojans triumphed via 25-23, 25-21, 14-25, 25-22 marks. School officials said Wednesday morning that $2,700 was raised at this year’s event, bringing the 10-year total to more than $15,000.

The East boys’ win was part of an October surge that helped them start to put a tough September stretch behind them, but for West’s girls team, Friday was ultimately a missed opportunity to build off the momentum of defeating Depew in the Lady Indians’ contest leading up to Friday’s doubleheader.

“The Dig Pink event was great,” West girls coach Ashley Bonetto said. “Although we did not come home with the win on the court, we still won off the court with all the money we raised for Buffalo Hospice. All the games we played were close battles and while we just battled for one night, there are a lot of people out there who have been battling for many weeks, months and years for a much bigger purpose. It was just great to see all the teams, families and fans come together to show their support for something much bigger than a volleyball game.”

During the boys’ match, East senior Brendon Bobeck showed confidence and poise late in the match to help the Trojans prevail. Trailing by a 2-1 count in the series and playing from behind in the fourth game as well, Bobeck stayed calm and took the reins on the front lines, getting key points late in the game to bring East back. In the end, Bobeck recorded the final kill to force the match to a decisive fifth game, where he was East’s go-to target.

For the night, Bobeck finished with nine kills, two blocks, an ace, and a 92.3-percent serving percentage.

The Trojans entered the Dig Pink match feeling confident after taking down East Aurora on Oct. 4. Freshman Jackson Strong tied the school record for aces in a match when he served up eight after being called up for the varsity-only contest. Many of his aces came off jump serves.

“We were in a slump at the end of September, but we seem to be turning a corner and getting out of it,” East boys coach Chad Loughran said. “The team played with confidence in the first week of October, going 2-0, and looks to continue doing so while looking towards the playoffs.”

The Trojans (5-7 overall) returned to action Tuesday at East Aurora before hosting St. Joe’s on Wednesday, but information about those contests was not available at press time. East closes out its week by hosting Sweet Home on Friday.

“Confidence is a huge part of volleyball, so for us to have success this week, we will need a strong performance from the team by showing poise and confidence on the court,” Loughran said.

West’s girls team, meanwhile, received strong serving from Holly Guerra and solid offensive play from Miranda Held against East, but in the end that just wasn’t enough to take down the Lady Indians’ crosstown rivals. East, which had not won since it took out Lake Shore on Sept. 27, got five kills and three blocks from Heather Borodzik, while Julia Slowik had eight digs.

Sam Boyd and Maria Spinelli each pitched in with two blocks for the victors.

“Maria has been a huge part of our team — she had five blocks and three kills for us in that Lake Shore win — and Sarah Eisenmenger has consistently been the backbone of this team with her setting,” East girls coach Jenna Yates said.

West was hoping to fare better after taking down Depew on Oct. 4 — by 25-17, 25-11, 18-25, 25-19 scores — in the match leading up to the Dig Pink doubleheader. Sam Sigler “did a great job at the net” and “played very well offensively for us” against the Lady Wildcats, Bonetto said, while Sabrina Passucci “served very well and played well defensively.”

“The season has not been going how we would like it to, but we are continuing to work day in and day out,” Bonetto said. “We have been playing better as of late, even though we haven’t been getting wins, but we’ve certainly been playing better as a team and being more competitive. I can only hope this is going to continue as we move forward.”

The Lady Indians (3-8 overall) returned to action Tuesday at Clarence and Wednesday at Frontier, but information on those matches was not available at press time. West closes out its regular season with three games in as many days next week, starting with Monday’s match at Orchard Park. The Lady Indians will then travel to Maryvale Tuesday before hosting Lancaster on Wednesday.

“We definitely have a tough schedule to close out the regular season, but we are up for the challenge,” Bonetto said. “So long as we make progress every time we take the court, we’ll be heading in the right direction.”

East’s girls team, meanwhile, returned to action Tuesday against Starpoint, but information about that contest was not available at press time. The Lady Trojans (0-4 ECIC II) close out their week by traveling to Sweet Home this evening, and then resume play Monday at Hamburg.

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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