McQuaid Jesuit boys’ volleyball capped a storybook season by earning its second consecutive state championship. Meanwhile, Our Lady of Mercy fell just a hair shy of claiming a state title of its own.
McQuaid swept Massapequa 25-18, 25-19 and 25-21 to win the Division I state title on Nov. 19 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. The victory gave McQuaid a final record of 21-0.
Mercy was stopped just short of perfection, falling 25-21,25-23, 19-25, 25-18 to Burnt Hills in the state Class A final played Nov. 20 at Glens Falls Civic Arena. The Monarchs finished with a 20-1 record.
The Knights treated Massapequa of Section 8 just like all their previous opponents, sending them to defeat. The sweep in the state final was led by UCLA-bound senior Steve O’Dell, who recorded 11 kills and locked up tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Joining him on the all-tournament team were teammates AJ Logosh, Christy Blough and Michael Desino. The Knights have lost just one match in their last two seasons, having won their first state title in 2010.
Earlier on Nov. 19, McQuaid had qualified for the final with a 5-1 record in pool play. The Knights swept Oswego of Section 3 (25-17, 25-16) and Bethlehem of Section 2 (28-26, 25-16) while splitting with Massapequa (25-15, 25-27). Prior to that, they scored a 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 quarterfinal victory over Frontier of Section 6 on Nov. 12 as John Lynch logged 14 kills, Blough had 30 assists and Sam Palermo Jr. added nine kills.
In the Section 5 Class A final on Nov. 10, top-seeded McQuaid scored a 25-13, 25-16, 25-21 sweep of No. 3 Fairport as O’Dell had 18 assists and nine kills, Blough contributed 25 assists and seven kills, and Desino added 14 kills. McQuaid’s first two sectional rounds featured a 25-11, 25-11, 25-15 victory over No. 8 Hilton on Nov. 2 in the quarterfinals and a 25-18, 25-16, 25-15 win No. 5 Gates-Chili in the Nov. 5 semifinals.
The Monarchs couldn’t solve Burnt Hills of Section 2 in the state final, suffering their first defeat all year. Setter Madi Wickens (36 assists, 14 digs) and blocker Gabby Vetere (16 kills) were named to the all-tournament team.
Despite the loss, the Monarchs can take pride in the clutch play that got them to the state final. In pool play on Nov. 19, Mercy was down to its final point, trailing 24-18 against Cornwall of Section 9 in a must-win game to advance. The Monarchs did just that, winning 26-24. Earlier that day they had won 25-21, 25-21 over Kings Park of Section 11, lost 25-17, 25-22 to Burnt Hills, and defeated Cornwall 25-10 in the first of that two-game set.
Mercy had reached the state Final Four with a 25-17, 25-16, 15-25, 25-18 quarterfinal win over Williamsville North of Section 6 on Nov. 12. Prior to that, the Monarchs scored a 25-13, 20-25, 25-17, 25-23 win over third-seeded Victor in the Section 5 Class A final on Nov. 4 as Wickens logged 46 assists and Terese Cannon had 16 kills.
Earlier in sectionals, Mercy won 25-13, 25-5, 25-14 over No. 15 Canandaigua in the first round on Oct. 27; 13-25, 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17 over No. 8 Pittsford Mendon in a quarterfinal on Oct. 29; and 25-12, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16 over No. 4 Brighton in a Nov. 1 semifinal match.