Outside the Box by Chuck Walley

Varsity volleyball squad hangs tough in South Lewis Invitational

The Town of Webb Varsity Volleyball Team played a tournament at South Lewis last Saturday, where they showed themselves to be competitive and well positioned for a nice season. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Morgan Payne, Sarah Branch, Daria Orekhov, and Alex Levi. In the back are, Chelsea Balcom, Jordan Levi, Hallie Christodaro, Mallory Kleps, Jessica Menges and Coach Jessica Brownsell. Photo by Kent H. Menges

I, for one, greatly look forward to seeing how our local kids make out during the winter sports season—a lot less dunking than what you would find in the pros and at the college level, but a whole lot more of what really matters. [See sidebar for my thoughts on the current state of professional sports.]

Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball

It was a full slate for the girls over the last week and it would be fair to say that they seem to be headed in the right direction.

It all started on Monday, December 5 with a road trip to Westmoreland to take on one of the more solid clubs they’ll see.

The Jayvees dropped a 2-1 decision before their Varsity counterparts took Westmoreland to the limit.

After losing the opening game, the ladies threw a scare into their opponents by snatching the next two.

Westmoreland bounced back, however, and ultimately prevailed 3-2.

Jessica Menges was her dominant self, though, providing 11 kills and 7 aces while Daria Orekov added 17 assists, two aces, and a dig.

A repeat performance was in store four days later on Friday, December 9 as Old Forge welcomed Adirondack to their gym—starting with another 2-1 setback for the JV’s and a tough, five-game match in which the Varsity Eskimos had their chances but were outlasted in the end.

Once again, Menges led the way with 11 kills, 3 digs, and 3 aces.

Orekov proved to be the ultimate teammate with 12 assists to go with 4 aces, 3 digs, and 2 kills. Sarah Branch (2 aces, 1 kill, 1 assist, 4 gigs) and Mallory Kleps (1 ace, 1 asist, 1 dig) were also on their game.

Finally, on Saturday, December 10, Old Forge would travel to South Lewis for their second Invitational Tournament in as many weeks.

Having split two games with Morrisville-Eaton and Holland Patent, they then swept Oppenheim, sending them to the semi-final round.

That match would be against Class A Whitesboro and, despite the vast difference in enrollment, the Eskimos hung tough.

They dropped both games, but by very competitive scores of 25-14 and 25-22 as they ended up placing seventh out of the twelve schools entered.

It seems that the girls are improving daily with the bulk of their schedule to look forward to.

If this trend continues, there should be some nice “presents” waiting to be unwrapped as the season continues.

Girls Varsity Basketball

The Varsity squad got their season underway on Thursday, December 8 against Adirondack, a team that, having already participated in several scrimmages, was better prepared for the outing.

That, combined with the fact that were facing a Class B school and have only one player with any Varsity experience, certainly made the task at hand an uphill battle.

To nobody’s great surprise, the Eskimos fell behind and simply couldn’t make a move in dropping the opener.

A tough loss, to be sure, but with several bright spots along the way.

Katie Connell, for example, managed to drop in 9 points and displayed some defensive prowess as well, swatting 5 shots away from the basket.

It was nice to see Haley Josephson back on the floor too, having returned from a two-year hiatus due to a knee injury.

She filled out the box score notably with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals.

Meanwhile, Samantha Notley (5 pts., 2 stls.), Kayla Yuckel (4 pts.), Mercedes Rice (2 pts., 9 rebs.), and Lizziye Getty (2 pts.) showed that the team has some nice balance going forward.

Boys JV & Varsity Basketball

Well, it just goes to show that I need to learn to keep my big mouth shut!

After their impressive run at the Remsen Tip-Off Tournament, I was quick to point out that these guys had a promising future if they could stay healthy.

Not only that, but I touted Sam Waterbury as a potential MVP candidate.

Sure enough, Waterbury injured his ankle in practice only days later and is expected to miss several games.

He was sorely missed as they took on Little Falls on Friday, December 9 but, to be fair, the Eskimos might not have been able to pull it off even if he had been available.

Little Falls had their way in the JV game and the main event was no different.

For that reason, and as a well-deserved self-enforced punishment to myself for my unintended jinxing of the squad, I’ll leave it at that. Short and not-so-sweet.

With any luck, closing my trap will bode well, although difficult tests against Poland and Oriskany loom. More next week.

Share Button