CHATHAM–The Ichabod Crane Riders volleyball team traveled next door to Chatham last week and remained undefeated after a 3-0 victory over the home standing Panthers. The Riders earned comfortable 25-21 and 25-15 wins in the first two sets before having to come from behind to pull out a 27-25 win in the final set. The victory moved the Riders to 3-0 with three games slated for this week.
The first set saw some long service rallies get ICC out to a big lead. Down 2-1 after a pair of Grant Verenazi service points for Chatham, Isaac Lester served up four of his own for the Riders behind a trio of kills by Isaiah Greene. Chatham kept pace, but a string of four service points by Jake Mabb pushed the Riders lead to 10-7. A pair of Shane Wenz kills, followed by a block by Wenz and a pair of Chatham miscues gave the Riders a commanding 18-10 lead. The Panthers continued their scrappy play and clawed their way back, but it was too much Greene and Wenz at the net, as the Riders captured the first set.
The beginning of the second set saw some great defense by both sides as well as long rallies. Greene reeled off three straight service points to put the Riders up 7-3, before a big cross court kill by Kevin Frederick stopped that run. Jacob Davis then picked up a pair of service points for Chatham to pull within one before Wenz picked up a side-out kill.
Behind some strong play up front by Greene the Riders pushed their lead to 13-8 before Verenazi served up three points for Chatham, which brought the score to 13-12. But that was as close as things would get. Lester and Greene served up a string of three points apiece and the Riders easily won the second set.
Chatham jumped out to an early lead in the third set, consistently staying out in front in the early goings. Down by 13-7, the Riders leaned on the reigning Patroon Conference MVP, Wenz, who put down a big side-out kill then served up a pair of points to close the gap to three. Chatham jumped back in front but Mabb was swinging well at the net and the Riders pulled to within one. Chatham appeared ready to retake the momentum on a ball that looked to have hit the floor on the Riders’ side, but the official judged it otherwise and the Riders took the point and tied it up. The teams went back and forth deep into what would be the final set. With the match even at 25, the Riders closed things out off a Chatham miscue and a Greene kill.
Greene led the way for the Riders with 16 kills and Wenz added 15 kills of his own. Mabb was a solid contributor, with 8 kills, while Lester tallied 17 assists and Jake Baumbach added 15 assists of his own.
The Panthers were without their statistician for this game so they had no stats available. Verenazi, Davis and Frederick all played well for the Panthers.
Chatham coach Michael Ozols had this to say about his team, “We have improved a lot in last few weeks, and I strongly believe there is potential for this team to play at a high level.”