Catholic high schools in Rochester Diocese secure state, sectional titles
Flexing their muscles at the sectional and state levels, numerous teams and individuals from Catholic high schools in the diocese brought home sports titles this fall.
Leading the way were McQuaid Jesuit boys’ volleyball and Our Lady of Mercy girls’ tennis star Julia Andreach, who earned state championships; McQuaid football, which advanced to the state final; and Mercy volleyball, which made the state semifinal round. In addition, the fall season featured several sectional champions and runners-up.
The Knights won the Division 1 state title Nov. 23 with a 16-25, 25-21, 26-24, 16-25, 15-12 victory over Sachem North of Section 11. McQuaid had advanced to the final with a 2-2 record in three-team pool play earlier that day.
Previously in the post-season, McQuaid won 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-27, 15-7 over Clarence of Section 6 in state quarterfinal competition Nov. 16. That win followed the top-seeded Knights’ 25-18, 20-25, 25-15, 25-21 victory over No. 2 Fairport in the Section 5 Class A final Nov. 14. Also in sectionals, McQuaid won 25-11, 25-10, 25-17 over No. 8 Gates-Chili in quarterfinal play Nov. 4; and 27-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-21 over fifth-seeded Rush-Henrietta in semifinal action Nov. 9.
The Knights finished the year with a perfect 21-0 record, gaining inspiration from the memory of Dane Leclair, a 2015 McQuaid graduate and former Knights volleyball star who died Oct. 27 at age 22.
In the state final Nov. 4, the top-seeded Mercy senior scored a 7-6, 6-1 win over No. 3 Thea Rabman of Port Washington (Long Island). Earlier at states, Andreach won 6-0, 6-0 over Adele Giovannoni of Ithaca (Section 4); 6-0, 6-0 over Valaine Clarke of Mount Vernon (Section 1); 6-0, 6-0 over Lucy Friedman of Rye Neck (Section 1); and 6-0, 6-1 over Rebecca Lim of Briarcliff (Section 1).
Andreach also won states in 2017, becoming the first girls’ tennis player from Section 5 ever to do so. Last year she played at the IMG Academy in Florida before returning to Mercy prior to her senior season.
The Knights’ path to the state final was fueled by a 30-27 comeback win over archrival Aquinas Institute in the Section 5 Class AA final Nov. 9. The top-seeded Knights rallied from a 27-14 deficit at halftime against the No. 2 Little Irish, earning their first sectional title since 1978.
Earlier in sectionals, McQuaid won 57-0 over No. 8 Monroe in quarterfinal action Oct. 25 and 20-7 over No. 5 Pittsford in semifinal play Nov. 1.
In state play, McQuaid prevailed 32-28 over Lancaster of Section 6 in the Class AA quarterfinals Nov. 16. The Knights then won 42-28 over Cicero-North Syracuse of Section 3 in the semifinals Nov. 23, improving their record to 12-0 and reaching the final Dec. 1 against New Rochelle of Section 1.
The Monarchs captured the Section 5 Class AA title as a No. 6 seed, winning 25-19, 20-25, 25-18, 25-20 over top-seeded Victor in the sectional final Nov. 9. Mercy previously won 25-13, 25-11, 25-17 over No. 11 Rush-Henrietta in first-round action Nov. 1, then triumphed 28-30, 26-24, 25-17, 28-26 over N0. 3 Penfield in quarterfinal play Nov. 5 and 25-21, 25-18, 12-25, 25-21 over No. 2 Hilton in semifinal competition Nov. 7.
Following the sectional title, Mercy won its state Class AA quarterfinal match Nov. 17, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17 over Orchard Park of Section 6 to reach the final four with a 14-4 record. However, Mercy went 3-3 against three other schools in pool play Nov. 23 to fall just short of qualifying for the state final.
Mercy won the team sectional title Oct. 14 with 362 strokes, well ahead of second-place Victor/Honeoye Falls-Lima’s 375 total, to earn the right to represent Section 5 at the state tournament this spring.
Monarch golfers also fared well individually at sectionals, as teammates Sophie Cellura and Michaela Eichas tied for fourth place and Lauren Ogden took eighth. By placing in the top nine, that trio qualified for Section 5’s composite state team that also will compete in the spring.
Elmira Notre Dame won the Section 4 Class C title Oct. 18. ND was led by Lucy Kaffenbarger and Alexandra Meier, who teamed up for a doubles sectional championship. In addition, the Crusaders’ Maddie Wirth finished as runner-up in singles.
The Knights, seeded No. 2 among Section 5 Class AA boys, won 3-0 over No. 7 Rush-Henrietta in quarterfinal play Oct. 26 and 2-0 over No. 3 Penfield in the semifinals Oct. 31, then played No. 1 Fairport to a 1-1 overtime tie in the final Nov. 5 to earn the sectional cochampionship. However, McQuaid lost 6-5 on penalty kicks for the right to advance to states, finishing with a 14-2-2 record.
• Aquinas football reached the sectional Class AA final by winning 35-14 over seventh-seeded Rush-Henrietta in quarterfinal play Oct. 25 and 35-19 over No. 3 Hilton Nov. 2. The title-game loss to McQuaid gave the Little Irish, who were defending state champions, a final record of 8-2.
• Bishop Kearney boys’ soccer, seeded No. 7 in Section 5 Class B2, won 7-0 over No. 10 North Rose-Wolcott in first-round play Oct. 23 and 2-1 in the quarterfinals over No. 2 Mynderse Oct. 26. The Kings played No. 3 Letchworth/Warsaw to a 2-2 overtime tie in the semifinals Oct. 30, then won 6-5 on penalty kicks to reach the final before falling, 4-0, to No. 1 Bath-Haverling Nov. 2 for a final mark of 10-9-1.
• Aquinas girls’ soccer, seeded sixth in Section 5 Class B1, won 3-0 over N0. 11 Lyndonville in first-round play Oct. 22, 1-0 over No. 3 Palmyra-Macedon in the quarterfinals Oct. 25 and 4-1 over No. 2 Newark in the semifinals Oct. 29 before falling, 1-0, in the Nov. 1 final to top-seeded Greece Olympia. AQ’s final mark was 9-8-3.
• Notre Dame girls’ soccer, seeded No. 2 in Section 4 Class C, won 3-0 in the quarterfinals over No. 10 Trumansburg Oct. 25 and 3-1 in the semifinals over No. 3 Groton Oct. 30. ND was stopped by top-seeded Unatego, 1-0, in the title game Nov. 2 to end up at 12-5-1.
• Notre Dame’s Caroline Rogers won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly events at the Section 4 Class C girls’ swimming championships Nov. 9.
• Mercy’s Paige Eaton captured first place in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Section 5 Class B swimming finals Nov. 9.
• In girls’ cross-country, Notre Dame’s Alyssa Walker placed second at the Section 4 Class D girls’ title race Nov. 7 as ND also took second in team scoring.
• In boys’ cross-country, Notre Dame’s Steven Gough finished second in the Section 4 Class D meet Nov. 7 as the Crusaders placed third as a team.