Massena Wins Vball Title; NAC Awards Presented
BY DAVE SHEA
MASSENA - Section 10 crowned its Overall Playoff Girls Volleyball Champion at Massena Central and honored the premier performers of the Northern Conference season on Friday Night.
Class A representative Massena took the coveted Overall Championship on its own floor by quelling a determined comeback by Class C Champion Canton in five sets: 25-13, 25-19, 14-25, 14-25, 25-16. The Raiders downed Class D Champion Chateaugay in straight sets in sem-finals 25-18, 25-17, 25-15 while Canton advanced past Class B Champion OFA 25-14, 26-24, 25-19.
All four teams: Class B Champion OFA, Class C Champion Potsdam, Class D Champion Chateaugay and Class A representative Massena will be involved in New York Tournament action next weekend.
In the NAC Awards Ceremony Massena and Chateaugay were honored as the NAC East Co-Champions, OFA was recognized as the NAC West Champions and Salmon River received the Stephanie Putney Memorial Sportsmanship Award which was presented by NNY Girls Volleyball Officials Board.
The All-NAC Awards were presented culminating with Rylie Gray being named as the NAC East MVP and Emily Smith of Potsdam honored as the NAC West MVP. The NNY Officials Board presented the final award, the prestigious Patti Baldwin Award to Jackie Butler of Potsdam as the Outstanding Volleyball Player in Section 10. Each year the elite award honors a player of outstanding ability, sportsmanship and leadership and a well-rounded student athlete.
The other for finalists for the award were: Rosie Jeneault of OFA, Kelsea Whittier of Canton, Rylie Gray of Salmon River.
RAIDERS WIN TITLE
"I am very proud of this team, Canton played so well and it was back and forth, it was a great night of volleyball. Middles, Tsiakoserio David and Delany Durant took control at the net with 21 and 23 kills and a combination of 15 blocks. Setters Ieronhenehtha Lazore and Olivia Morrell had over 60 assists combined. Outside hitters Anna Thompson and Abby Benham had a combination of 15 kills and each had over 10 digs each. Leading Canton in the title match were: Gretchen Warner 13 kills, 2 points, 1 block; Sydney Lorenc with 5 kills, 3 blocks, 10 points , 2 aces; Kelsea Whittier 16 assists; Gabby Rauth with 14 digs, 3 points, 1 ace and Katie Bennent with 12 points.
In the semi-final loss against Massena, Chateaugay was led by Alexis Monette with 15 assists, Hannah Monnette with 9 points, 2 aces and 5 kills and Ayana Adams with 16 kills.
BEARS DOWN DEVILS
Canton advanced past OFA in straight sets where they won in three different fashions.
The Bears controlled the first game 25-14, used a strong end game for a 26-24 second set win and then turned back a tenacious OFA comeback in the third game 25-19.
In the second game the Bears erased a 23-21 deficit to win 26-24 sparked by two kills by Sydney Lorenc and a block by eighth grader Ava Hoy. In the third game Canton took a 12-4 and turned back the Devils who cut a 21-14 deficit to 21-19 as Gabrielle Morley and RosieJeneault came through with blocks.
Gretchen Warner sparked the clinching Canton response with a searing kill and an ace and Katie Bennett added a timely kill.
"Tonight I think the key for us was just being consistent all around. Our serving, passing, hitting and defense were all solid. Gretchen Warner and Sydney Lorenc have been our leaders up front all year and setter Kelsea Whittier is closing in on 1000 career sets," said Canton Coach Carla Wentworth.
Ava Hoy came up to the varsity as an eighth grader and has done well. At 6-2 she is a force, she can drive the ball straight down at the net"
Lorenc and Warner (6 points, 3 aces) combined for six and seven kills and Kelsea Whittier passed out 13 assists. Abby Dodd served for a team-high eight points and Mattigan Porter (4 aces) and and Katie Bennett followed with six and five points. Ava Hoy added two points and two points with one ace.
"Canton played well and we came 180 degrees from over win over Salmon River on Tuesday. Against Salmon River every one played very well and tonight everyone struggled. We really needed to win that second game but it didn't happen" said OFA Coach Sue McLean.
"Emma LeBeau served well and we used double blockers tonight and that worked fairly well. We had six blocks tonight. We will need to double block in a match against the Section 2 Champion which will be decided on Saturday."
Rosie Jeneault delivered seven kills with 3 blocks and 1 kill and Emma LeBeau served for a match high 11 points with 2 aces and 3 digs. Celia Henry contributed 3 kills with 1 point, 3 assists and 2 digs.
Emily Farrand (3 aces, 2 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs) and Gabrielle Morley (1 kill, 1 block, 2 digs, 2 aces) each tallied five points and Jordyn Tupper (1 dig) passed out 5 assists.
Abby Raven added four points, 1 kill, 2 blocks, 1 dig and 1 assist.
The 2019 Patti Baldwin Award featured four outstanding finalists who fulfilled all of the award's criteria with distinction. All four are outstanding players who balanced a well-rounded life of a student-athlete and as leaders in competition in their school's student body.
"I wish we could give this award to more than one player but we can't," said a spokesperson for the officials board in announcing the Jackie Butler of Potsdam as the 2019 recipient.
Jackie Butler has played varsity volleyball for Potsdam since eighth grade and has played setter, libero and outside hitter. She also competes for Potsdam in lacrosse and indoor track-field and is an accomplished figure skater.
Coach Angelina Converse calls her a tremendous leader who coaches at youth camps and has a true sense of community.
"Over the years Jackie has made over 200 pillow cases for the Pediatric Floor at the Canton-Potsdam Hospital," said Coach Converse.
In nominating Rosie Jeneault for the award OFA Coach Sue McLean spoke of how she plays hockey all year with the Napean Wildcats, a Major Junior team and is currently going through NCAA Division I recruiting conversations.
Jeneault balances the hockey commitment with volleyball and indoor and outdoor track-field where has made state meet for the high jump and earned Team MVP honors. In volleyball she has developed into a force for her ability to drive hits straight down at the net where she is also a formidable blocker and target specific areas with her hits.
"A typical day for Rosie is to finish volleyball practice and then head for Ottawa doing homework in the car," said Coach McLean of her standout middle hitter who stands fourth in her class with a 97.8 average.
"She has earned the respect of her teammates with her ability to balance her commitments. Recently two of her teammates drove to Ottawa to cheer her on."
Canton senior Kelsea Whittier has been a standout player and leader volleyball, basketball and lacrosse says her coach Carla Wentworth.
"Kelsea is a four-year varsity who adapted her skills and is closing in on 1000 career sets. She is a great player who the younger plays look up to," said Coach Wentworth.
"She shows great sportsmanship at all times and is grateful for being able to play volleyball."
Whittier stands fifth in her class with a 96.78 average and takes college level classes.
Salmon River Rylie Gray was honored as the NAC East MVP and also excels at lacrosse, basketball, dance and several other activities at the school and community.
She missed by 1 10th of a point of being number one in her senior class and recently received a Future Medical Leaders Award.
"Rylie is the person that keeps our team together and I will cherish my time with her forever," said Salmon River Coach Nicole Deshaies.
ALL-NAC VOLLEYBALL AWARDS
All-NAC West First Team: MVP - Emily Smith (Potsdam), Marissa Hawkins (Madrid-Waddington), Rosie Jeneault and Emily Farrand (OFA), Gretchen Warner (Canton) and Jackie Butler (Potsdam).
Coach of Year: Angelina Converse of Potsdam.
All NAC West Second Team: Melissa Barr and Celia Henry (OFA), Madlyn Richardson (Madrid-Waddington), Emma French (Potsdam), Kelsea Whittier (Canton) and Sydney Lorenc (Canton).
All NAC East First Team: MVP - Rylie Gray (Salmon River) Makenzie Lane (Malone), Ayana Adams (Chateaugay), Anna Thompson and Delany Durant (Massena) and Alexis Monette (Chateaugay).
Coaches of the Year: Michelle Thomas of Malone and Chris Reynolds of Chateaugay.
All NAC East Division Second Team: Brynn LaPage (Brushton-Moira), Sierah LaValley (Tupper Lake), Madison Major (Malone), Tsiakoserio David and Olivia Morrell (Massena) and Tayana Benedict (Salmon River).
Outstanding Sportsmanship Awards: Ethan Mulvderhill (Brushton-Moira), Chloe Boyea (Chateaugay), Brookde Myers (Malone), Abigail Enham (Massena), Kendall Jock (Salmon River) and Elaina Daniels (Tupper Lake).
Athletes of Distinction: Grace Manning and Samantha Turner of Gouverneur, Kathleen Bateman, Julia Cochrane, Eve Higginson and Sarah Weaver of Madrid-Waddington; Melissa Barr, Celia Henry and Rosie Jeneault of OFA; Kathrine Betrus, Emma French, Emily Smith, Shannon Todd of Potsdam and Kelsea Whittier, Gretchen Warner, Sydney Lorenc, Grace Franklin, Rorie Newman and Gabby Roth of Canton.