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Rob Potter | Democrat

SW’s Melissa McCormack (5) watches as teammate Rebecca Corcillo (2) hits the ball over the net during Wednesday’s OCIAA Division IV volleyball match. Extending their arms in an effort to block the ball are Liberty’s Esa Cano (19) and Tea Williams (13). Watching in the background is Liberty’s Courtney Sawyer (15).

SW volleyball team
rallies to beat Liberty

By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON — October 22, 2010 — It’s Homecoming Week at Sullivan West High School and the SW Lady Bulldogs volleyball team celebrated by defeating the visiting Liberty Lady Indians on Wednesday in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV match.
But SW (8-9, 8-7 Div. IV) had to come back in order to record the victory.
Liberty (3-13, 3-13 Div. IV) won game 1 by the score of 25-22. But the Lady Bulldogs prevailed in the next three games by the respective scores of 25-8, 25-20 and 25-21 to win the match.
In that first game, SW took an 11-7 lead on an ace by Brittney Milk. But Liberty’s Ali Budd and Courtney Sawyer had kills to help their team tie the score at 13-13.
Sawyer made another kill and Sharon Benzenburg served an ace to give the Lady Indians a 16-14 lead.
SW’s Jackie Parsons served an ace to tie the score at 21-21. But Liberty scored four of the next five points to win the game.
Behind the strong serving of Parsons and Amanda Kehrley, who combined for five aces, the Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-1 lead in game 2. The Lady Bulldogs then outscored Liberty by a 15-7 margin to win the game.
Game 3 was tied six times before SW took a 13-12 advantage on an ace by Rebecca Corcillo. The Lady Bulldogs then steadily increased their lead to prevail, 25-20.
Good serving helped SW grab a 10-3 lead in game 4. Heather Bitjeman had a block and a kill to help the Lady Indians close to within two points at 10-8.
But Parsons served a pair of aces as the Lady Bulldogs responded with a 6-0 scoring run to increase their advantage to 16-8.
Later in the game, Liberty’s Tea Williams served three consecutive aces to bring her team within three points at 24-21. But Milk ended the game and match at the same time with a kill.
Parsons finished the match with 19 service points and two digs, while Kehrley had 10 service points, two digs and two kills.
Also leading SW to victory were Corcillo, who recorded six service points and one kill, and Amanda Goddard, who had four service points and four kills.
“This was a good win for us,” SW Coach Cliff Kelly said. “It’s a big division win because it helps us get closer to making sectionals.”
Kelly noted that the Lady Bulldogs have three matches left in the regular season. They will face James I. O’Neill, S.S. Seward and Tuxedo.
“We need to win one more match to get into sectionals,” he said. “We are going to work hard to get it.”
Kelly added that his team would probably have to win two of those matches to avoid being the lowest-seeded team in the upcoming sectional tournament.
He also praised Liberty.
“That’s a good team with a good coach,” Kelly said. “They keep improving and improving.”
Budd, Sawyer and Williams paced the Liberty attack on Wednesday afternoon. Budd had seven kills, three blocks and one dig; Sawyer recorded six kills, four aces, two blocks and one assist; and Williams had six kills, five aces and two blocks.
Liberty Coach Lori Kachelmeyer politely declined to comment following the match.
Note: Prior to the match, SW honored its six senior players. Those seniors and their parents were introduced to the crowd during a brief ceremony.
Kelly also presented flowers to the six seniors – Amanda Bercze, Amanda Goddard, Maya Grady, Sommer Johansen, Amanda Kehrley and Jackie Parsons.

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