By Mackensey O'hara CONTRIBUTING WRITER
---- — Seven months after ending Cooperstown’s softball season, the Comets have done it again, this time to the CCS volleyball team.
Cooperstown took the first game, 25-23, in a Class C-2 quarterfinal match, but the Hawkeyes fell, 3-1, to fifth seeded Sandy Creek. Katie Franck finished with four kills, one ace, and 15 assists and Caroline Leonard added 11 kills, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Comets.
“They were good,” said Cooperstown coach Rich Jantzi. “They started all seniors and they were tough.”
It seemed as if it would be a close match after the first game, which featured seven ties and ended with an ace by Katie Franck to give the Hawkeyes a 25-23 victory.
The Comets came out strong in the second game though, never trailing after a 3-3 tie, and taking the game 25-13.
Sandy Creek was very disciplined in their play, generating few errors after the first game. They continued this play in the third game, jumping to an early 4-0 lead and winning, 25-10.
“They were a lot cleaner than us tonight,” said Jantzi. “We had 23 hitting errors and 11 serving errors, that’s 34 points right there.”
The Comets were led by Kylee Martin, who had 24 assists, 10 digs, and four aces and Kylie Hanni, who finished with 11 kills, eight digs, and three blocks. McKenna Guarasce also added 12 kills and four blocks.
“They were very good last year,” Jantzi said of Sandy Creek. “We hadn’t played them in five years and I honestly had no idea what to expect. They had the experience.”
Sandy Creek looked as if they would take the fourth game as easily as the previous two. The Comets came out and held a 14-9 lead, which prompted Cooperstown to call a timeout.
The Hawkeyes answered with a 7-0 run, keeping it close and contesting every point. Sandy Creek pulled away for good at 22-16 and ended the match with a 25-18 win.
“I was searching around for scouting reports before this game and I got an email back from one of the coaches,” Jantzi said. “They were a rival school and she wished us good luck, but she also said, “I love when your kids play.
“That to me is just the greatest thing to hear about my team,” Jantzi continued. “There are so many layers to what she said.”
McKenna Hage also contributed three blocks and eight kills for the Hawkeyes, who end their season as Center State Conference Division II champions and with a 13-4 record.
“We had a great season overall, nothing to hang our heads about,” said Jantzi.
Sandy Creek 3, Cooperstown 1
Game Scores: 23-25, 25-13, 25-10, 25-18
Sandy Creek (14-3): N/A.
Cooperstown (13-4, 7-1): Caroline Leonard 11 kills; Katie Franck 16 assists, 4 kills, 1 ace; Kristen Ratliff 11 assists, 1 kill; McKenna Hage 8 kills, 6 blocks; Brooke Liner 3 kills, 1 assist; Jennifer Snyder 2 kills