Brochey sisters lead Niagara-Wheatfield in quarterfinal match versus Sweet Home
By David Yarger
The Niagara-Wheatfield girls volleyball team has dominated its competition this season. On Friday night, the team continued the trend with a 3-0 victory over Sweet Home in the Section VI Class A quarterfinals.
The team played Sweet Home on senior night to end its regular season and also won, 3-0.
The Falcons controlled all of the first set, defeating Sweet Home, 25-7. LeGary Jackson ended an impressive set with a block to seal a 1-0 lead.
In the second set, the Panthers gave the Falcons a battle. Down 23-17, Sweet Home battled back to make it 24-23, but a Danielle Brochey spike hit the hardwood to end the set, resulting in a Falcons victory.
In the third set, the Falcons got off to a 10-0 lead. N-W led by as much as 14 points and eventually closed out the clean sweep with a 25-14 set win.
In the victory, Danielle Brochey added 16 kills and 10 digs, while Emily Brochey added 19 assists and three aces. Also, Katelyn Kostiw added six kills and two blocks.
As the top seed in Class A, coach Brandi Cochran admitted the playoffs can get a bit tense at times, but said to walk away the victors was nice.
"It was good. It's always a little nerve wrecking being one of the top seeds, because every team wants to try to take a game, take a match and it could end your season, so I think coming in everyone was a little nervous. But, obviously, my team they're ready, they don't wanna lose, they wanna fight, they wanna win," Cochran said.
Cochran added that it was nice to see the team bounce back after a hard fought second set.
"I pretty much told them they had to go back to playing their game," Cochran said. "They were playing not to lose, instead of not playing to win and we do that sometimes. This year, we haven't been tested that much with that, but I think this was a great experience for them."
Cochran said the big difference between the first and second matchup versus the Panthers was definitely the added win or go home feeling the playoffs adds.
"Playoffs are so different than a regular season match," Cochran said. "I told them we can not take anyone lightly. ... I want them in situations where we have to come back or we have to push for the last two points. I'm actually OK with it, because if we want to do as well as I hope we do, we're going to be in some really tough matches and they have to be mentally tough to figure it out."
As the Falcons head to the Sectional semifinals, they will face a familiar foe in the Grand Island Vikings. N-W defeated Grand Island in both matches during the regular season, 3-0. Just because the girls dominated the Niagara Frontier League this season, Cochran said they still can't take the Vikings lightly.
"I think it's going to be a little nerve wrecking for just everyone on both sides," Cochran said. "I think on both sides of the net it's going to be a little bit of nerves to start. ... We just have to play our game. If we play our game, the other team can play just as well and it's going to be a battle. A lot of times when we play strong, we get teams a little rattled and then that's when we start to take it and that's what we need to do in this playoff situation."
The girls semifinal matchup versus the Vikings starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday inside the Niagara-Wheatfield gymnasium.