Coaches often say, "It's tough to beat a team three times." That old adage proved to be true Monday in the Section 5 Class B boys volleyball finals. Second-seeded Midlakes beat fourth-seeded North Rose-Wolcott twice during the regular season, but the Cougars pulled off a 3-1 win with the title on the line Tuesday at Webster Schroeder High School.
The game scores were 25-22, 20-25, 25-21 and 25-20.
North Rose's outside hitters Garrett Hoyt and Tom Sykes gave Midlakes trouble, combining for 32 kills.
"It came down to that and we knew that was what it's going to be like," Screaming Eagles coach Kyle Salisbury said. 'We knew that Garrett had a good swing and their setter does a nice job making sure he gets the ball to his guys."
First-year Cougars coach Brad Lehman didn't know the last time his school won a sectional title in the sport, but said it was before 2000.
Midlakes beat North Rose 3-0 and 3-2 earlier this season.
"Our goal every year is to beat Midlakes," Lehman said. "They've had our number for many, many, many years. They deserved it, they worked hard. Midlakes is a tough team, it's always tough competition with them. I'm glad we pulled it off today."
Midlakes took a 12-11 lead in the first game and didn't trail until North Rose pulled in front 22-21 and closed out the game.
The Screaming Eagles bounced back in game two, leading from start to finish.
The Cougars led for most of game three. Midlakes took a 21-20 lead, but it didn't last as North Rose-Wolcott won the next five points.
North Rose-Wolcott took a 13-12 lead in the final game and never trailed after that. Midlakes tied it at 16 and again at 19, but couldn't take the lead.
Hoyt and libero Tim Jenkins made the all-tournament team for the Cougars (11-7), and setter Luke Gerstner (39 assists) was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Junior Chris Goodman (14 kills, 11 assists) and senior Jake Kemp (20 kills, 19 assists) made the all-tournament team for Midlakes (15-6). Salisbury was named the Class B Coach of the Year. Freshman libero Seth Welker added 12 digs, and Justin Hoover chipped in four kills and two blocks.
Salisbury said it was still a great season, what with how young his team is. Goodman and Kemp were the only returning players, and everyone else came up from the JV team. The coach said he saw his team grow a lot over the course of the year.
"I reminded our guys that we're young and they're young," Salisbury said. "We're going to be around here a while, get used to this. I know my guys are really upset because it's Jake's senior year. With him being the only senior, they're like all little brothers."
Page 2 of 2 - On Thursday, North Rose-Wolcott faces the winner of Wednesday's Class BB championship game between Victor and Spencerport.