2014 Section III…Class C Boy’s Volleyball Champions – Canastota Raiders

Jeff Pexton/MHTS/PGI Photo


BALLThe Canastota Raiders boy’s volleyball team overcame a 2 games to 1 deficit and then erased a 6 point deficit in the 5th game to defeat Mount Markham, 3 games to 2, winning their first Section 3, Class “C” volleyball title in school history.

The Raiders, seeded second in the tournament, used a pretty significant height advantage on the front line to jump out to a 25-20 game one victory over top seeded Mt. Markham.

The Canastota win in the first frame didn’t phase fans on either side of the net, however, seeing that these two teams battled through five games against each other back on January 7th, where the Mustangs prevailed 3-2.

Mt. Markham’s Noah Haar (3) and Matt Bleaking (10) rise up for a block on a hit by Canastota’s Elijah Cary.

Mt. Markham entered this evenings fray as the Center State East Division champions, with a record of (7-0) in the league and (14-3) overall.

Canastota finished third in the CSC- West, with a record (4-3) and (13-5) overall.

Trailing by a game tonight, Mt. Markham rallied back in the second game and scratched out a tough 25-23 win in game two. 

The Mustangs got some outstanding front line play from Zach Brown and Mike Gras, both of whom nailed several thunderous kills in game three, which Mt. Markham won by a score of 25-20.

Canstatota would then come raging back, taking the next two games for the victory.

The most dramatic game of the night was game number four, as Mt. Markham held a commanding 17-11 lead over Canastota, who seemed to be reeling.

That’s when the Raiders rallied around the phenomenal athletic play of Avery Brennen and outscored the Mustangs 14-4 to gain the game three win by a score of 25-21.

Tied at two games apiece, the Raiders and Mustangs were once again poised for a game five winner take all showdown.

Let the celebration begin!

The fifth and final game saw the Mustangs control the floor and the net in the early going, building advantages of 15-8 and 17-11.

On the brink of elimination the Raiders then went on a dramatic 14-5 tear to knock off Mt. Markham by a score of 25-22, sending the Raiders faithful out of the bleachers and onto the floor for a lengthy celebration!

Connor Hanauer finished with a whopping 50 assists and 13 digs in the middle of the Raiders 5-1 offensive set. Avery Brennan tallied 21 kills and 18 digs for Canastota.


Canastota 3 Mount Markham 2– 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22 

Canastota’s Avery Brennen (11) had a monster night for the Raiders.