Tuesday, March 15, 2011

VVS volleyball puts on a show in regional final

Vernon-Verona-Sherrill's boys volleyball team did not win its final match of the season, but the players made sure the occasion was a memorable one. So did the fans, coaches and a spur of the moment mascot dance-off. Even though the it was played at Hudson High School, Section II's undefeated Ichabod Crane (located under 10 miles away) was pretty much the home team and had a slight edge in total fans.

The crowd first made it's voice heard before the first serve. As officials tried to figure out the sound system to play the national anthem, a group of fans began to sing it themselves, then were joined by the rest of the crowd to make for a stirring rendition of Star Spangled Banner. They even managed to sing the correct lyrics, unlike a certain Super Bowl singer.

VVS coach Jim Burton
As tension mounted in the gym, halfway through the fourth set, VVS' unofficial Red Devils mascot (a student dressed in a devil costume) walked down the court swinging his "tail" during a timeout. A young Ichabod Crane fan responded at the next stoppage with a cartwheel/backflip combination followed by an impressive standing backflip. The 'Red Devil' thought about answering back with a flip of his own, then wisely decided on a forward roll. The two went back forth until the end of the timeout, much to the delight of the supporters on both sides.

The match was an exciting one, going five sets and Ichabod Crane coming from behind twice to finish the season undefeated (22-0). VVS coach Jim Burton was happy with his team's season, if not the ending, as the Class B champs captured their first sectional title since 2008. Making good on a deal with the team, Burton had his hair done for the match to show his school spirit. The end-result was corn-rows complete with large red beads at the end.
The national anthem, quality volleyball, vocal crowd and dueling mascots made the Class B regional finals one players on both sides will remember for a long time. Congrats to both sides.