KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Riders boys volleyball team remained in a tie for first place in the Patroon Conference thanks to a 3-0 sweep of Taconic Hills at home Monday. Despite the 3-0 score the Titans did not go down without a fight, keeping all three games close, falling 25-18, 25-21 and 25-19 giving hope to Taconic Hills coach Kayla Demarest. “They are gradually getting better. We fought hard at the net to stop their attacks and it was enough to keep us in the game” she said.
Derrick Fenoff paced the Riders in the opening game with two early service points as ICC jumped out to a 3-0 lead that they’d never relinquish. With senior Tyler Jablanski setting all the way around the court instead of using their normal two-setter approach, he racked up the assists to the likes of Alex Potts and Justyn Verbraska early. The Titans played a scrappy brand of volleyball, but struggled to consistently find points at the net. Justin Smith found his swing late in the match for the Titans and had some strong swings to pick up points, but it was not enough to close the gap.
The Titans got off to a fast start in the second game with a balanced attack and some Rider miscues. Down 4-7 Potts got the Riders back in the game with his signature big hitting, but the Titans would not go down easy. Chris McArthur, facing a big block at the net by Potts, touched the ball around the 6’7″ senior to tie it up at 12. After a side out freshman Shane Wenz toed the serving line for the Riders and picked up four service points to give ICC the breathing room they’d need. Fenoff had some big hits at the end to extend the lead and Potts closed out the match with a big kill.
The third game played out much like the first two, with things close early on. The Riders rode the strong play of Fenoff and Verbraska, while the Titans got some more big hitting from Smith at the net. Down one, Fenoff reeled off three service points to put the Riders up 15-13, but a side out by the Titans and four service points by Smith gave the Titans back the lead at 15-17. Some back and forth play put the Riders up two, but with a chance to pull within one McArthur had a huge side out block on Potts to draw things to 19-18. Showing his versatility, on the next play Potts reared back for a big swing, then calmly touched it around the defender at the net for an easy point. Verbraska closed out the game, like he started it, with three consecutive service points.
The Riders moved to 10-1 overall, 9-1 in the Patroon to keep pace Coxsackie-Athens for first place in the league. Potts paced the Riders with 17 kills, while Fenoff added 11 kills and 9 service points. Setting around Jablanski tallied 27 service points, while Verbraska finished with 6 service points and 4 kills. The Titans fell to 4-4 in the league even with a strong performance by Smith who finished with 13 service points, 9 kills and 4 blocks. McArthur added 6 service points, 5 kills and 4 blocks, Max Bailey added 12 service points including 4 aces to go along with his 15 assists and Grant Snyder added 6 service points including an ace in the loss.