Strong state-tournament performances came from the McQuaid Jesuit boys’ volleyball team, which reached the NYSPHSAA title match; and Aquinas Institute girls’ soccer, which made the state semifinal round.
McQuaid advanced to the Division 1 final with a 2-2 record in pool play Nov. 14. The Knights lost 25-18, 25-23 to Sachem North of Section 11 but rallied to win 25-12, 25-19 over Bethlehem of Section 2. That put the Knights into the championship round later that day — again facing Sachem North — where they were dealt a 25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18 loss in the best-of-five championship match.
The defeat ended a brilliant season that saw top-seeded McQuaid capture the Section 5 Class A tournament with a 27-25, 25-17, 25-17 win over No. 2 Penfield in the final held Nov. 6. The Knights then advanced to the Final Four with a 25-12, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Lancaster of Section 6 in state quarterfinal play Nov. 8, hiking their record to 22-0.
Meanwhile, the Aquinas girls made the state Final Four with a 2-0 win over Falconer of Section 6 in state quarterfinal play Nov. 8 as Lauren Begy and Adrianna Russell scored for AQ. Begy and Russell were again the goal-scorers in the state semifinal game, played Nov. 15 against Port Jefferson of Section 11, as the teams battled to a 2-2 tie. However, the Little Irish were then defeated on penalty kicks, 3-2, as their season ended with a 14-6-2 record. Earlier this fall, fourth-seeded Aquinas earned the Section 5 Class B cochampionship, playing second-seeded Greece Odyssey to a 1-1 tie Oct. 31 and then winning 4-2 on penalty kicks to advance to state play.
In other state-championship news, Elmira Notre Dame’s Garrett Butters placed fifth in the state Class D cross-country title race held Nov. 8. That followed a first-place showing by Butters at the Section 5 Class D meet Oct. 30, where teammate Matt Karee finished third. Also that day, Notre Dame’s Chase Yoder placed third in the girls’ Class D race.
For McQuaid, the Knights’ Nick Ciolkowski won the Jesuit Championships held Nov. 15 in New York City as his Knights took third in team scoring. Ciolkowski also captured first place in the Section 5 Class A meet Nov. 1, with teammate Donovan Glavin taking third, as McQuaid won the team title that day. Ciolkowski and Glavin then placed 12th and 15th, respectively, in the state meet Nov. 8.