|SECTION IV VOLLEYBALL: TIOGA WINS PLAYOFF OVER CANDOR, WILL FACE BAINBRIDGE-GUILFORD SATURDAY FOR CLASS D TITLE (24 PHOTOS) (2018-11-02)
BY TIM TAYLOR
Valley Sports Report
CANDOR — Longtime Tioga coach Des Ford knew before the first match of the season this year’s team would be a work in progress. And it was. The Tigers went through a roller coaster season, but the ride paid off here Thursday night as Tioga earned a trip to the Section IV Class D championship match.
“We’ve run through a lot of ups and downs all season, a lot of life lessons,” Ford said. “At one point tonight I said I’m not a coach. It’s not volleyball. I have to be a parent. And I had to speak to them like a parent. But, in the long run, it is about what’s going to take them into life and how they react and how they encourage their teammates and the words they choose. And that’s more important to me, and that happened between the two B-G games or B-G and Candor.”
Whatever parenting skills Ford threw at her players, they seemed to work, because the Tigers came back to defeat the Indians in a one-game playoff, 25-20, to advance to Saturday’s championship match.
Both teams finished pool play with 3-3 records, both having swept Oxford, but getting swept by Bainbridge-Guilford. They split against one another.
In the playoff, Tioga worked an 11-6 lead, but couldn’t hold back the Indians, who rallied to tie the game at 12 on a Braelyn Hornick ace. Instead of firing up the Indians, it sparked the Tigers, who took advantage of a few Candor errors to gradually pull away and take an 18-13 lead, capped by a Giovanna Rossi block.
The Indians would retaliate with a side out, but a net serve followed, then a hit out of bounds for a 20-14 Tiger lead. Four of the next five points would be credited to serving errors as Tioga stayed on top with a 22-17 advantage. Candor couldn’t get closer than four points down the stretch and, trailing, 24-20, hit the ball out of bounds to give Tioga the win.
“We’ve been working the past week, and they’ve had good practices this week, and they’ve been very coachable, very positive. Things that maybe we should have seen earlier, now we’re seeing them,” Ford said.
To get a playoff against Candor, B-G had to sweep the Indians and Tioga would need to win both sets against Oxford.
Ford told her players, “I don’t know if B-G is going to beat Candor and if they don’t, if they split, it’s OK, because I’m proud of you for the way you played your four sets against B-G and Candor.”
Candor head coach Pam Quinlan was disappointed with the overall outcome of pool play, but pleased with the effort her players put forth.
“That’s what I said to them. I said, ‘As a coach I really can’t ask for anything more than you gave me today. They played hard, they stuck together as a team. A lot of the comments I hear from people who watch is that we’re fun to watch because of the way we play and the way that we play together. The kids are obviously upset that we’re not going on, but they’re also feeling that the family that they’ve been with for the last two months is, we’re going to kind of start going our own way.
“It’s a tough loss. Tioga is a top-notch program, so we knew that it would be a battle and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.”
The Indians started pool play with a sweep of Oxford while Tioga fell to B-G, 25-9 and 25-16. The Tigers and Candor followed with the Indians winning the first set, 25-15, and Tioga taking the second, 25-23.
Then came the clash between Candor and B-G with the Bobcats riding a 19-4 run to a 25-16 win in game one and taking game two, 25-21.
That set up the tie-breaker scenario if Tioga could sweep Oxford, which they did, 25-14 and 25-13.
“I certainly would have liked to have a chance to meet with them again. I thought like we played really well against. I thought we gave them a really good run for their money.”
For the day, Chloe Bellis dished out 22 assists and had eight kills, 10 digs 4 service points, including one ace, and one block; Rossi had 10 kills, seven blocks, 24 digs, and 14 service points, including three aces; Brianna Stoughton contributed 13 points (1 ace), two kills, two blocks and five digs; Madison Macumber had 10 points (2 aces), five kills, five assists, three digs and a block; Shaina Franks added nine digs, eight points (1 ace) and two kills; Julia Bellis pitched in with 14 digs, 14 points (3 aces) and seven kills; Katlyn Perry had six assists and three points; and Ari Manwaring added four kills.
Kailyn Edwards posted 12 service points (2 aces) and handed out 14 assists on the day. Kori Strong had 15 service points (4 aces) and nine kills; Shelby Swartz added 11 service points (3 aces), 15 kills and two blocks; Jennah Kareem pitched in with nine service points (2 aces), 20 kills and eight digs; Hornick had 15 service points (5 aces), seven kills and 38 assists; Megan Henry contributed 13 service points (1 ace), 15 kills and five digs; and Jenna Huizinga had seven digs.
Tioga and B-G meet for the championship Saturday at 4 p.m. at Corning High School.
IN PHOTO 1: Tioga's Giovanna Rossi (5) and Candor's Kailyn Edwards (2). ... PHOTOS COURTESY OF JANET JOHNSTON
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