Weekly Feature

2017-11-09 / Sports

Starpoint ends Flyers’ run in boys volleyball semifinals


Starpoint proved to be a worthy challenge for Maryvale’s boys volleyball program when the two schools met for a fourth time this season in the Section VI Division II-B semifinals at Lackawanna Saturday. The Spartans used what they learned in the previous three meetings to pull out a 25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 22-25, 4-15 victory that eliminated the Flyers from contention.

The Flyers, who swept Starpoint in league play and also beat the Spartans to win the Grand Island Tournament, had a lead in game three but a couple of missed serves and errors on attacks ultimately cost Maryvale the game and gave Starpoint the opening it needed. Game four started off slow as well, as the Flyers fell into a quick 7-1 hole. Maryvale battled back and held a 19-15 lead, but once again some untimely errors proved to be fatal.

Coach Jon Bednasz called the fifth game “easily our worst game of the season,” as the Flyers had little left in dropping the lopsided decisive set.

“We had chances to close Starpoint out in games three and four but were unable to close the door on them, and it ultimately ended up costing us the match,” Bednasz said. “It was a tough loss for sure.”

Jordan Nosal led the way for Maryvale with 31 kills, six blocks and four aces, while Zach Amato added 14 kills, two blocks and an ace. Tom Frain chipped in with 19 kills and three blocks for the Flyers, who advanced to the semifinal round after defeating Amherst in straight sets in the quarterfinal round three days earlier by 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 scores.

The top-seeded Flyers came out of the gates quickly, jumping out to a 7-1 lead on Amherst in what was their first match in a week’s time. JV call-up Ryan Zawadzki, Nate Zawadzki’s brother, was inserted into the lineup to play defense but eventually was set for a back-row kill by his brother. Ryan Zawadzki, one of the JV team’s setters, returned the favor a couple of points later.

“We played with energy and purpose against Amherst,” Bednasz said. “Like most of the teams we played, Amherst did not have a defensive answer to Jordan — and our defense was frustrating them too. And it’s special when two brothers can be on the court together and even more special when they can set each other.”

Nate Zawadzki finished the match with 27 assists, while Deante Mecca had 11 digs. Amato chipped in with six kills, two aces and a block, while Nosal had 14 kills and five aces. Mark Bailey chipped in with three kills and four blocks for Maryvale, which finished the season 19-4 overall and 11-1 in division.

“The sectional loss to Starpoint was a hard loss to handle because it turned out to be the end of our season, but it was still a great season,” Bednasz said. “I think the 2017 team will go down as one of the best teams in Maryvale history. I talk a lot with Jordan LeViness, our assistant coach who played on the 2007 team which was the last Maryvale team to win a share of the division title with Eden, about who would win between the 2007 team that was inducted into Maryvale’s Wall of Fame in 2015 and the 2017 team, and we both believe the 2017 team was better.”

The Flyers will officially put the finishing touches on the 2017 season Sunday when they hold their annual team awards banquet. Nosal is one of six players from Western New York who will be nominated for the New York State Section VI American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year award. Voting will take place next week.

Bednasz, meanwhile, was nominated and finished second in New York State Section VI AVCA Coach of the Year voting. He will also be inducted into the Western New York Boys Volleyball Hall of Fame tonight at the coaches and officials banquet at Ilio DiPaolo’s under the player/coach/official role.

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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