RENSSELAER – Burn Hills-Bolston Lake defeated Christian Brothers Academy 25-12, 25-8, 25-12 to capture the Section II Division 2 boys’ volleyball championship on Friday.
The Spartans, who were 13–3 on suburban council during the regular season, led almost the entire match at Rensselaer High School against the Brothers, who were only in their third season in varsity competition.
The Spartans were only 4–3 behind in the second game, but they quickly regained the lead and never looked back.
Senior leadership was crucial for the Spartans, as co-captains Gavin Sweet and Aidan Calhoun kept the team motivated even when it looked like it was going to be a one-sided championship game.
“We were trying to be really strong and have a little fun at the same time,” Sweet said. “We tried to do a few more things after taking the lead. We tried to control early so that we didn’t have to worry about getting on our way all the time. We focused on the little things,” Sweet said.
“For me, it’s our second time winning the D2 championship, but it’s really only the second time we’ve ever played for a title, because in other years before the CBA got a program, we were just handed our patches. Were because there was ‘not another D2 school for us to play in.
“It was definitely the key for us to get started for our postseason,” Calhoun said. “We wanted to get off on the right foot towards regional and states. We wanted to get into the right mindset for the playoffs.”
Veteran coach Paul Sander, in his 22nd year with the program, was not overly thrilled with the win, but he would take it.
“They can play better than that, and need to play better than that,” Sander said. “Every high school kid always ends up playing below their opponent’s level, and they’re just high school kids. But we were trying to prepare for the regional ones. I’m glad we’ve got a good lead on this team. Sometimes it’s hard for our coaches, so it’s better to get our captains involved in what we’re trying to do. The players get their intensity from the captains, and that’s the thing for us. Makes it very easy,” he said.
Aidan Calhoun contributed 23 assists for the Spartans. Ben Pearce and Liam Calhoun added 11 and 7 kills respectively.
Colombia wins D1 title
In the fourth game looking like it would never end, Colombia finally pulled off a dramatic victory, doing what it does best – dominating the net.
The second-seeded Blue Devils received an equal-block from junior middle hitter Kyle Blake, who scored 33–31 to beat the final game in a 3–1 win over Shenendhowa in the Division 1 title. The game before an electric, jam-packed crowd. Colombian fans stormed the court after the final game.
Colombia rallied after losing the first game 25–20 to top-seeded Plainsmen. They returned with scores of 25–19 and 25–13 to grab Games 2 and 3, but despite starting with a 4–0 lead in the fourth game, it eventually went into overtime, with both teams earning match points. fought after the time of Time.
The difference proved to be the difference between senior Carter Durievage and junior Henry Heaps inside the Blue Devils, who seemed to win nearly every fight over the net with kill after hit. Durways were particularly difficult to control. He recorded 10 kills and an ace in the final game alone.
“We just came together as a team,” Durievage said. “They [the Plainsmen] We were putting a lot of pressure on us with our serve, but we overcame it. We came back to put a little pressure on them and we tried to be as consistent as possible. We played together as a team.
“We won our first match against them this year, and then we lost our second. It was our section championship. I think we were underdogs as second seeds.”
First-year head coach Tyler Rose was thrilled with every aspect of the championship match.
“That was some incredible atmosphere,” he said. “It was great to have our fans here. It was good for the program, because these kids worked very hard. I am so proud of him. It is very exciting.”
Rose wasn’t sure how his Blue Devils would react to playing plainsmen for the field championship.
“Coming here, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “To be victorious like this is really special. Now, I look forward to my next matchup in the regionals.”
After losing the opener, the second set proved to be crucial for the Blue Devils.
Rose said, ‘I was very happy with the way we came back. “In a sectional game, you have to wonder how the kids will react. Volleyball is one such momentum game. Gaining game two was huge, because the momentum was in our favor. But the last game was crazy. There were a lot of game points for him and then for us. So many kids climbed on both sides. That’s why this match was so great. These fans enjoyed a game,” Rose said.
“Shane played very well, and that fourth game definitely could have gone either way. We kept fighting and grinding, even when Shenandoahova kept getting a chance to close the game against us,” Rose said.
The plainsmen found big attempts from senior outside hitter Greg Sharma and outside hitter Bennett Wilson in the first game, but Durievage put the Blue Devils on his shoulders in the second game with four kills and two aces. Durvez and Heaps continued to dominate in the third game, but in the fourth game, Plainsman was behind Sharma and Nick Pascual.
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