Weekly Feature

2012-10-18 / Sports

West boys volleyball wins Lockport Tournament


West Seneca West’s return to the Lockport Boys Volleyball Tournament after a couple of years’ absence proved to be a smart decision, as the Indians bolstered their confidence for their stretch run by knocking off Williamsville South in the title game to claim the championship.

“It’s the first time we’ve won this tournament in my time as coach,” Widman said. “It was nice to see us kind of roll through pool play.”

West rallied from a 20-25 first-game loss to force a decisive third game with its 25-17 win in the second game. Widman called the third game “extremely back and forth,” but in the end West was able to pull out the 26-24 victory behind outside hitter — and All-Tournament Team selection — Shaun O’Brien’s jump serve.

“If Shaun’s jump serve hadn’t been on, I’m not sure how we would have fared,” Widman said. “The kids were just jumping all over the place with excitement, especially since the last game was so close and could’ve gone either way. We figured out in the third game what their key player was doing to have success, and we stopped him.”

West reached the title game by defeating St. Francis in the semifinals, 25-8, 30-28. Middle hitter Gregg Hart, outside hitter Evan Koehler and right side hitter Dennis Ulmer all played significant roles in the Indians’ success on the day as well.

“Gregg was basically unstoppable, which I’m sure is partly why he was also named All-Tournament as well,” Widman said. “Evan and Dennis also both had good days offensively. We just overpowered all the teams we faced with our offense.”

Though West didn’t fare as well in league play in its matches after the tournament, Widman noted how setter Dan Feeney came in off the bench to spark the team’s offense in a 3-1 loss to Williamsville North.

“We’ve been up and down all year,” Widman said. “We’ve either played really well, like when we took St. Joe’s to five games, which was a huge success for us, or we’ve been pretty bad, like when we lost to Clarence in three. We’re young, but we’re better than our record would indicate. We just don’t know how to deal with tight situations yet, or how to close out games. Things like that will come with experience.”

West was looking forward to gaining some additional experience this week with matches against Hamburg Monday and Frontier Wednesday, but information about those contests was not available at press time.

The Indians will close out their week by participating in Grand Island’s tournament Saturday less than 24 hours after participating in this year’s “Dig Pink” doubleheader with crosstown rival

West Seneca East at the Buffalo Niagara Court Center. The varsity boys will take to the courts at the conclusion of the girls’ match, which will begin at 5 p.m.

The “Dig Pink” match, which will also feature West and East’s girls teams playing each other, has a $3 admission fee at the door. Additional fundraising efforts for breast cancer research will be accomplished via a basket raffle, a 50-50 drawing, T-shirt sales, concession sales, and drawings for a few prizes that Widman called “bigger” than the baskets being raffled.

On the court, West setter/libero Ryan Kilijanski will look to get the best of older brother Brandon, who coaches East’s varsity squad.

“The kids are pretty pumped up for Friday,” Widman said. “We were able to raise $1,600 last year at our ‘Dig Pink’ event, and I’m hoping we can double that this year. It’ll be a fun night no matter what.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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